The London High Court on Wednesday set a date for preliminary hearings in a legal dispute between Russian tycoons Boris Berezovsky and Roman Abramovich.
Judge Sir Anthony Colman said preliminary hearings in a $3.5-billion compensation lawsuit brought by self-exiled Kremlin critic Berezovsky against Chelsea football club owner Abramovich would take place on October 3, 2011.
Berezovsky intends to demand compensation from Abramovich for what he insists was a forced sale in 2000-2003 of shares in the Sibneft oil company, the Rusal aluminum company and the TV channel ORT at lower than market prices.
Both businessmen now live most of the time in Britain. In October 2007, British newspaper The Daily Mail reported that Berezovsky personally handed a subpoena in this case to Abramovich, when they met by chance in a London luxury clothing store on Sloane Street.
"I am satisfied with the judge's decision because it gives me an opportunity to finally meet with Mr Abramovich and get answers to questions, which I unsuccessfully tried to ask him for many years," Berezovsky, who unlike Abramovich personally appeared at the hearings, told RIA Novosti.
"The date is fixed, we can start preparations. Mr. Abramovich also has time to prepare."
The parties also agreed to exchange lists of witnesses, experts, and other documents involved in the case.
The judge suggested that the hearings would not last longer than three hours.
"Three hours is an appropriate period regarding the length of preparations we already had," the judge said. He also urged the businessmen to avoid unnecessary costs in preparation for the trial.
LONDON, March 31 (RIA Novosti)