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Russia’s Prosecutor General hopes co-operation with UK will improve

A non-constructive stance, which has nothing in common either with justice or with international law – that is how Russian Prosecutor General Yury Chaika described Britain’s refusal to hand over Boris Berezovsky. But he remains positive that co

“We’re now receiving a lot of help from France, Switzerland and Brazil. The French authorities are now investigating suspected money embezzlement by Mr Berezovsky in France and have put his property under arrest. Brazil has issued a warrant on Berezovsky’s arrest on charges of embezzlement. Also, the Swiss Prosecutor General’s office has investigated embezzlement by one of Berezovsky’s entrusted persons,” Yury Chaika said.

Boris Berezovsky, a London-based businessman who’s been a wanted man in Russia for more than six years now, was once a Kremlin insider and one of the country’s most influential businessmen. But in the end of year 2000, he was accused of fraud and political corruption and fled to Britain, where he was granted a political asylum. Ever since, he’s been probably the most rampant critic of Russia’s leadership.

Several interviews of the exiled businessman to British newspapers contained open calls for a rebellion and a coup in Russia. The latest was made to the Sunday Times just a few days ago.

Russian Prosecutor General’s office launched a criminal case against Berezovsky for inciting a coup and called on Britain to hand him over. Despite Moscow’s repeated requests for extradition, Berezovsky remains in London.

And that has marred the relationships between the two countries, especially after the British authorities demanded that Russia should extradite Andrey Lugovoy – one of the suspects in the case of Aleksandr Litvinenko – the former FSB officer, who died in London last year. Litvinenko was in fact allied with Berezovsky in criticism of the Russian political Olympus.

Andrey Lugovoy cannot be extradited to the UK, as this contradicts the Russian constitution. Besides, according to Mr Chaika, the UK has not provided sufficient evidence, nor assisted Russian investigators in their requests.

According to the Russian Prosecutor General, new requests on the Litvinenko investigation will be filed to the British authorities shortly in hopes of finally resolving the case.

Despite what Mr Chaika described as delays in beginning, a joint investigation into the Litvinenko case, he remains positive that co-operation between Russia and Britain will return to normal.

Aleksandr Khinstein from the Russian State Duma believes Boris Berezovsky will be brought to Russia one day or might even give himself up to the Russian authorities.

“I am absolutely sure that sooner or later Berezovsky will be brought to Russia. Berezovsky is a hostage of the political situation and does not belong to himself. Besides Russia, he is also only wanted in Brazil. His property has been seized in France, his accounts frozen in Switzerland. He is a persona non grata for quite a number of countries. In such a situation Great Britain risks finding itself in a position where it is concealing someone wanted by the police of many countries. And I would not even be surprised if Berezovsky gave himself up to Russia. If he is really such an ardent opponent of the current regime in Russia it would be optimal for him to sacrifice himself,” Aleksandr Khinstein stated.