Chelsea owner and Russian billionaire, Roman Abramovich, is on trial in Switzerland for allegedly defrauding a publicly-funded European bank of millions of taxpayers’ money.
Proceedings commenced on Wednesday in the city of Fribourg by a court against the 52-year old businessman, amid heightened security.
The Russian energy Company Gazprom, co-owned by Roman Abramovich is been sued by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) for payment of a long-standing multi-million loan debt.
The case dates back to the year 2000 and has vast international dimensions, with a Swiss-based company, Runicom, said to be involved.
The claimants have vowed to pursue Abramovich anywhere he goes, in a chat with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) earlier this year. Gazprom have provided an argument that a Swiss court has no jurisdiction in the highly complex case.
However, a ruling of the Swiss Supreme Court states that the lawsuit can be held in Switzerland, although there is no clarity on how long the trial will last.