Ex-Governor of the Chukotka Autonomous Region Roman Abramovich was summoned to a Geneva court to testify as part of a criminal bankruptcy case in February 2005 of the Servette Football Club. This was reported by the Russian-language Swiss publication “Our Newspaper”. “The court, indeed, sent the summons to Mr. Abramovich,” said the cantonal prosecutor of Geneva, Dario Zanni.
The name of the Russian businessman and politician is mentioned in connection with the circumstances of the transfer to Chelsea of one of the best Servette players Fabrizio Zambrell, for whom the English club allegedly did not pay the amount due. While the trial was going on, the Geneva club went bankrupt.
According to Zanni, Abramovich is being summoned to Geneva as a witness at the request of the lawyers of the former owner of Servette, Mark Roger, who is under investigation.
The prosecutor noted that, by law, lawyers can ask anyone to hear. So, the name of Abramovich was on the long list of celebrities that Roger’s lawyers are demanding to hear, along with the legendary Pele, FIFA President Joseph Blatter, famous French businessman and politician Bernard Tapi, and almost a hundred more people.
According to Zanni, the court may reject the request of lawyers, but this was not done in the case of Abramovich. “Nevertheless, I personally think that Roman Abramovich is not a figure that can help the court establish the truth in the Roger case,” he said.
He noted that if Abramovich arrives at the hearing, then, like any witness, he will be paid “reasonable travel expenses and, possibly, a hotel”. However, if he does not appear, then this will most likely have no consequences for him.
“We have no way to force a witness to appear at the trial, especially if he lives abroad. We can theoretically fine the Swiss, but in my memory this happened in rare cases, and that only if it was about key witnesses, ”said Zanni.
In turn, the lawyer of the ex-owner of Servette Alain Marty said that he asked the investigating judge Mark Tappole to hear Abramovich at the stage of the investigation.
“Tappole did not do this, and in general conducted an investigation disgusting. The little Geneva judge did not dare to disturb such an important person as Abramovich, ”the lawyer said.
The Servette Bankruptcy Case will be held in the Geneva Palace of Justice from September 1 to 5.