Russian-Israeli businessman Arcadi Gaydamak this week lost the latest stage in his $2 billion lawsuit in London's High Court against diamond mogul Lev Leviev, his former business partner, Britain's Independent reported Wednesday.

The two have been fighting for years over ownership of their lucrative diamond venture in Angola, with Gaydamak accusing Leviev of effectively stealing half the operation, the paper said.

In 2001 Gaydamak agreed for Leviev to be the public face of the Angolan diamond business because of a French inquiry into illegal arms supplies. They signed a contract that Russia's Rabbi Berel Lazar kept for safekeeping, but the Chabad rabbi later apparently lost or destroyed it, the paper said

Leviev paid Gaydamak hundreds of millions of dollars under this arrangement until around 2005, The Independent said.

In an earlier case, Leviev denied there was any agreement made in 2001, the paper said. The judge did not believe Leviev, but also found against Gaydamak's claim that he had been duped into signing a settlement agreement under false pretenses, it said.