First there was Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book, then Qaddafi the Leader’s Little Green Book, and now, from the witness box of the UK High Court, in testimony given over four days, October 5-8, 2009, comes…
I’m a humble man (October 6).
I am a humble man (October 8).
I am a gentleman.
I’m very soft man, sir.
I’m very soft man usually, and we always spoke with him in a nice, nice way
On hotel accommodation
(Responding to question regarding document “delivered to you at your hotel suite”?)
Not suite. It was a standard room. It’s only [Tagir] Izmaylov [former Novoship chief executive, ousted after he opposed Sovcomflot takeover of the company, now accused by Frank in London court] usually living in suites. We are humble people.
On higher education
Basically, my level of education giving me enough comfort to express my own vision of any issue, and that doesn’t need any support of people to say that.
I am not a political analyst to analyse the rubbish which is from time to time published in the newspapers,which is most likely the source of your allegations or speculations. But I am not qualified enough to make my witness statements about some political problems.
I have three higher educations, but it was not my course to learn whose stamp on this letter, clearly…
I passed my exam on the mathematical logic, and the logic here, you are doing typical tricks which are properly described in those books.
Most likely your teachers on the logic been not good enough.
To be frank with you, one of my weak points as a CEO, I am not a very well advanced IT user. So what you are saying to me would be technically difficult for me to assess and to understand.
If you are training my memory, say, to immediately to tell you with the four digit figures, it’s difficult.
On German nationality
(Responding to question: You were acting like the Gestapo, interrogating him, weren’t you?)
It is a very, very strange statement to me. If I am a 50 per cent German, I think, what you are saying is insulting. This is insulting.
(Responding to question: And will you admit that what then happened after that, in order to make him more full and frank, is that you arranged for the prosecutor to have him seized in Switzerland and extradited back to Russia to go to jail?)
No, it’s once again an insult to the judicial system of another country. So, according to me, you are a professional lawyer but you are continuously doing that sort of insult. Because in our country, the judicial system is doing their job, and it is very difficult for me to influence or to organise something.It is their job.
I would like to explain to this High Court that this suggestion of Mr Dunning [QC – counsel for defence], that humble CEO of a commercial company can really move the judicial system of the country in order actually to satisfy his friends or employees, very, very strange, if not to say insulting to the other sovereign state, that sort of ideas in your mind. That it can be a bargain between the physical person and the CEO that he will secure that the judicial system won’t touch Mr Borisenko. That’s — I am appalled to listen to this in the court.
On chairmanship and dictatorship
We are a democratic company. We are not in the army and I am not the head of the platoon.
Who are they? They are managers; and the management in the private or the State company are humble people.They have to patiently wait when shareholders will find it suitable for them to sell or not to sell their business.
I can confess that I speaking really maybe too much. That is my weak element. [Vladimir] Mednikov [legal counsel of Sovcomflot]is very loyal lieutenant. Usually if the boss is speaking, he is not that talkative, that is true…CEOs they are slightly dictatorship, so not only me. It’s 50 per cent of CEOs, they have a policy.
In Sovcomflot, we have a policy. Our word is our bond.
I don’t have any power to protect anybody. Law is law.
Only the court can decide who is guilty and who is not. And definitely I don’t know any court decision which found me guilty or liable for any wrongdoings.
(Responding to question of why he authorized continuing employment and bonus for a Sovcomflot executive who had admitted stealing from the company and then repaid $1 million)
Not perfect decision, I have to admit. I feel myself embarrassed all these days, really, and I see that this is not a perfect decision. But I decided to do it that way.
I have two things in my bedroom: it is the Bible, and the bylaws of Sovcomflot as of today.
(Responding to question: why did you choose to affirm and not take the Christian oath?)
Simply because I spoke with my — with my priest in Russia. So I have a priest, and actually I discussed this issue with him, and I decided that it will be more appropriate. It is my right in the constitution of this country. Nobody told me that there is a big difference in the legal sense.
(Responding to a question about his influence with Russian prosecutors)
It sounds a bit insulting to the sovereign countries that you are speaking in the way that somebody can be superior than the authorities in the sovereign state to decide who they want to question.
On the Russian constitution
This is not constitutional in Russia, to have groups.
I have only one faction which I am a member of; it is my schoolmates from the maritime academy, which is quite active. Mr Sechin is not in that faction. And Mr Timchenko is not as well.