African Press Organization
2012-06-29 LUANDA, Angola, June 29, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Today, 29th June 2012, Mr. Justice Vos handed down his judgment in the dispute between Arcadi Gaydamak and Lev Leviev.
The dispute, which played out in the London High Court in May and June 2012, centres on the profits of the Angolan diamond industry, one of the world's biggest diamond producers.
This trial addressed two key issues.
First, was there a binding and enforceable agreement signed and entered into by both parties in 2001 and entrusted to Rabbi Berel Lazar, the Chief Rabbi of Russia, for safekeeping? Mr. Leviev consistently and strenuously denied that such an agreement existed and Rabbi Lazar, having eventually admitted that he had been given an envelope to look after, then claimed to have either lost or destroyed it.
David Wolfson QC stated in submissions to the Court: “Mr Gaydamak has told the truth about the 2001 Agreement and Mr Leviev has consistently lied. Mr Leviev's evidence was not only untrue, it was an orchestrated untruth. The “King of Diamonds” has been shown to be a knave."
The Judge has also found that the agreement was indeed entrusted to Rabbi Berel Lazar for safe keeping, as claimed by Mr. Gaydamak. He stated that the loss of the envelope was "convenient for Mr Leviev, but hardly coincidental".
Arcadi Gaydamak commented: “I have maintained all along that we had an agreement. It was always surprising and disappointing that Mr. Leviev and Rabbi Lazar persistently lied in this regard”.
In his judgment, Mr. Justice Vos noted that Mr. Leviev approached the case with a sense of “arrogance” and had effectively to “re-written history” by questioning Mr. Gaydamak's role in the restructuring of the Angolan diamond mining and export industry.
The judge acknowledged Mr. Gaydamak's role in assisting the Angolan Government in obtaining control of the diamond industry at the height of the civil war, thus securing the benefits of exports for the Government and precluding their use by rebels.
Arcadi Gaydamak commented: “That Mr. Justice Vos has recognised the role I played in assisting the Angolan government, as well as my role in conceiving and developing the establishment of Ascorp, is particularly important.”
The second key issue addressed by the court was whether Mr. Gaydamak's claim was settled pursuant to a ‘drop hands' Settlement Agreement signed in 2011, whereby Gaydamak agreed to give up all claims against Mr. Leviev.
The Judge has upheld this agreement and Gaydamak is applying for permission to appeal, in order to obtain the cancellation of this purported agreement.
Arcadi Gaydamak commented: “I have said all along that I was bamboozled into signing the settlement agreement as a result of the representations of General Kopelipa on behalf of Mr. Leviev. Pending the decision to appeal, the court has recognised that I have told the truth throughout, it has recognised my immense contribution to the Angolan diamond mining industry and wider economic and political stability, and it has recognised that Mr. Leviev and Rabbi Berel Lazar have, to my disappointment, consistently lied throughout. I welcome the Judge's findings on those key points”.
Distributed by the African Press Organization on behalf of Mr. Arcadi Gaydamak.
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