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Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich in Swiss court over debt case

Legal action has been launched against the Russian billionaire and others in a bid to recover alleged debts left behind by one of his former companies.

Russian billionaire and Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich has appeared in a Swiss court as part of a 19-year-old legal battle over 46 million Swiss francs (£33 million) in debts allegedly owed by him and others to a European bank.

Mr Abramovich was in court in Fribourg as part of a lawsuit brought by the London-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) against Mr Abramovich, Russian oil tycoon Eugene Shvidler and the Russian energy company Gazprom Neft, a bank spokesman said.

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The case stretches back almost two decades (AP)

The legal action aims to recover alleged debts left behind by Mr Abramovich’s now-defunct Runicom trading firm, which was based in Switzerland until its bankruptcy in 2003.

The initial amount sought by EBRD was 17.5 million Swiss francs (£12.74 million), but the claim has grown to 46 million francs to include interest and costs.

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