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Berezovsky to face fresh charges

A court in Moscow has decided to ask French authorities to seize the property of self-exiled tycoon Boris Berezovsky after new charges were brought against him. Russian Prosecutors have also asked the court for an arrest warrant for Berezovsky.

“The General Prosecutor's Office has asked the Basmanny District Court to issue an arrest warrant for Boris Berezovsky. The court hearings are scheduled for August 7,” said Anna Usacheva, the Press Secretary, Moscow’s City Court.

The businessman, who has had political asylum in London since 2003, is accused of embezzling $US 13 MLN from Moscow's SBS-AGRO bank in 1997. It is alleged he bought real estate in France with the money. 

However, the businessman’s defense says, he has never owned any property in France.

“The case files say that in 1997 the criminal group illegally got credit from SBS-AGRO, approximately $US 13,5 MLN and the sum was used for buying real estate on the Mediterranean coast of France. The investigation believes this property belongs to Berezovsky, but Berezovsky only rented that real estate and has never been its owner. That is what I have got up to now,” Andrey Borovikov, Berezovsky’s lawyer, said.

Russia has repeatedly asked Britain to extradite Berezovsky.

Around 11 cases have been already opened against Berezovsky in Russia.

He is also wanted in Brazil on charges of money laundering.

Recently, Berezovsky's became one of the key figures in the on-going Aleksandr Litvinenko case as he was a close ally of the former security officer who was poisoned in London last November.