Cherney says he mistakenly signed deal after drinking

Israeli oligarch accused of owing $270m., in accordance with signed agreement for stake in Russian coal-producing organization.

By JONNY PAUL
February 27, 2011 02:02
1 minute read.
MICHAEL CHERNEY

MICHAEL CHERNEY 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

An Israeli businessman told a New York court in a case over a disputed $270 million that he mistakenly signed an agreement in the wrong place after a drinking session in an Austrian bar.

Israeli oligarch Michael Cherney, originally from Uzbekistan, said that he mistakenly signed an agreement with Alexander Gliklad, a Ukrainian-born Israeli living in New York, after “consuming a tremendous amount of vodka” during a drinking session in Vienna in 2003.

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A close friend of Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Cherney made his fortune in the aluminium industry in Russia during the 1990s and moved to Israel in 1994.

Cherney’s lawyer, David Bamberger, told the Supreme Court of New York last week at a hearing to determine jurisdiction that Cherney is calling for the case to be held in Israel and that “temporary intoxication” is a legitimate defense.

Gliklad accuses Cherney of owing him $270m., in accordance with a signed agreement for a stake in the Russian coal-producing organization Kuzbassrazrezugol, a former state enterprise privatized in the early 1990s.

Meanwhile, Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich lost an appeal last week to repeal a £2b. claim by a former business partner Boris Berezovsky in 2009, which alleged that Abramovich “threatened” and “intimidated” him in order to coerce him into selling his stake in Russian oil company Sibneft.

Last year the British High Court decreed that the case should go ahead and last week the Court of Appeal refused to overturn the decision. A trial will take place in London next year.


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