The BBC has just announced that Roman Abramovich has won his legal battle against exiled oligarch Boris Berezovsky. Berezovsky had accused him of a breach of trust and of contract, and had been attempting to win damages of $6 billion. According to the FT’s report, the judge, Mrs Justice Gloster, used her ruling to tear apart Mr Berezovsky’s credibility as a witness, accusing him of ‘deliberate dishonesty’:
She said: “On my analysis of the entirety of the evidence, I found Mr Berezovsky an unimpressive, and inherently unreliable, witness, who regarded truth as a transitory, flexible concept, which could be moulded to suit his current purposes.
“At times the evidence which he gave was deliberately dishonest; sometimes he was clearly making his evidence up as he went along in response to the perceived difficulty in answering the questions in a manner consistent with his case; at other times, I gained the impression that he was not necessarily being deliberately dishonest, but had deluded himself into believing his own version of events.
“On occasions he tried to avoid answering questions by making long and irrelevant speeches, or by professing to have forgotten facts which he had been happy to record in his pleadings or witness statements. He embroidered and supplemented statements in his witness statements, or directly contradicted them.
“He departed from his own previous oral evidence, sometimes within minutes of having given it. When the evidence presented problems, Mr Berezovsky simply changed his case so as to dovetail it in with the new facts, as best he could.”