Exiled Russian tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky has been placed on an international wanted list over the 1990s murder of a Siberian mayor.
Mikhail Khodorkovsky has been living in exile in Europe since he was pardoned by President Vladimir Putin in 2013 for fraud after 10 years in jail.
Russia’s once-richest man said the authorities had “gone mad”.
Mikhail Khodorkovsky is accused of ordering several of his employees to kill both the mayor and a businessman, who survived.
Investigators allege Vladimir Petukhov, the mayor of Nefteyugansk, was killed on June 26, 1998, for demanding Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s oil firm, Yukos, pay taxes that the company had been avoiding.
Photo Getty Images
Local businessman Yevgeny Rybin was allegedly targeted because his activities “clashed with Yukos’s interests”, Russia’s powerful Investigative Committee (SK) said in a statement as it announced his arrest in absentia.
Yevgeny Rybin survived a gun attack in November 1998 and a second attack on his car in March 1999, when another man in the vehicle was killed and several people were injured.
Five people have already been tried for the attacks and the arrest warrant is unlikely to make any difference unless Mikhail Khodorkovsky returns to Russia.
Armed police raided the Moscow offices of Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s Open Russia pro-democracy movement on December 22, in a move that authorities said was linked to allegations of tax evasion. The flats of at least seven activists who work for Mikhail Khodorkovsky were also searched.
The exiled oil tycoon, who now spends much of his time in London, has repeatedly criticized Vladimir Putin in recent months. He said December 22 raids were acts of intimidation and the sign of an “authoritarian regime” nearing its “inevitable” end.
In further comments on December 23, Mikhail Khodorkovsky said the authorities were acting like bandits: “They’ve gone mad. I realized that yesterday.”
After Mikhail Khodorkovsky was arrested in 2003, Yukos was broken up and taken over by a state oil firm.
In 2014, an international arbitration court in The Hague said Russian officials had manipulated the legal system to bankrupt Yukos, and jail Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
The court told Russia to pay former shareholders in Yukos $50 billion in compensation.
An inquest into Boris Berezovsky’s death has heard he was found lying on his bathroom floor with a “ligature around his neck”.
Boris Berezovsky, 67, was discovered at his Berkshire home in UK on Saturday.
A post-mortem examination found Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky’s death was consistent with hanging, but further tests are being carried out and are likely to take several weeks.
The inquest, which has been adjourned, comes after relatives of his second wife described him as “extraordinary”.
Speaking at the opening of the inquest at Windsor Coroner’s Court, Detective Inspector Mark Bissell, of Thames Valley Police, said Boris Berezovsky was found lying on his bathroom floor with a “ligature around his neck and a piece of similar material on the shower rail above him”.
A post-mortem examination found Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky’s death was consistent with hanging, but further tests are being carried out and are likely to take several weeks
The inquest was opened and adjourned by Berkshire Coroner Peter Bedford.
Janine Prunty, the coroner’s officer, confirmed Boris Berezovsky’s daughter, Elizaveta Berezovskaya, formally identified the body.
And police confirmed the ambulance crew found Boris Berezovsky’s body on the floor at his home in Ascot, Berkshire.
The police search of the Russian oligarch’s house will continue for a few days more and other tests are under way.
Following her father’s death, Anastasia Berezovskaya, 19, said: “My father was not the typical parent, nothing about him was ordinary… he has taught me many things about this world.
“He has taught me to never stop fighting for what one believes in no matter what the costs may be.”
Anastasia and her brother Artem are Boris Berezovsky’s children with his second wife Galina Besharova.
His daughter added: “There aren’t enough words in any language that can somehow express everything that he was and everything he will continue to be. The only word that comes close is extraordinary.”
Early reports suggested Boris Berezovsky’s body was found by an employee, who called an ambulance at 15:18 GMT on Saturday. He had not been seen since around 22:30 GMT the previous evening.
Police have said the post-mortem examination found nothing to indicate a violent struggle.
They had earlier said there was no evidence so far that a “third party” was involved.
It will be several weeks before the results of further tests, including toxicology and histology examinations, are known.
Some friends of Boris Berezovsky had said he was depressed after the failure of his legal battle in London with fellow Russian oligarch and Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich.
But others have insisted he was not a man who would have taken his own life.
Boris Berezovsky, an outspoken critic of the Russian President Vladimir Putin, amassed a fortune in the 1990s following the privatization of state assets after the collapse of Soviet communism.
He survived numerous assassination attempts, including a bomb that decapitated his chauffeur.
Boris Berezovsky had been living in the UK since 2000. He was granted political asylum in 2003 on the grounds that his life would be in danger in Russia.
British police say there is no evidence so far that a “third party” was involved in the death of exiled Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky in London.
Earlier today, Boris Berezovsky ‘s house in Berkshire was given the all-clear after it was searched by police for chemical, biological and nuclear material.
Thames Police said Boris Berezovsky, 67, was found by an employee dead on his bathroom floor on Saturday afternoon. The door was locked from the inside.
A Home Office post-mortem examination is to be carried out.
Boris Berezovsky emigrated to the UK in 2000 after falling out with Russia’s president, and was granted asylum in 2003.
Police are treating the death as unexplained, while scenes-of-crime officers are currently inside the property carrying out a full forensic examination of the scene.
Police say there is no evidence so far that a “third party” was involved in the death of Boris Berezovsky
“It would be wrong to speculate on the cause of death until the post-mortem has been carried out. We do not have any evidence at this stage to suggest third party involvement,” Detective Chief Inspector Kevin Brown of Thames Valley Police said.
“The investigation team are building a picture of the last days of Mr. Berezovsky’s life, speaking to close friends and family to gain a better understanding of his state of mind.
“We are acutely aware of the level of interest into his death and are focused on conducting a thorough investigation as we would with any unexplained death.”
Boris Berezovsky’s body was reportedly found by an employee, who called an ambulance at 15:18 GMT on Saturday.
He had not been seen since around 22.30 GMT the previous evening.
His body remained at the property while the search – described by police as a precaution – for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear material was carried out.
The search was sparked after a paramedic’s personal electronic dosimeter (PED) – a health and safety device – was triggered.
Boris Berezovsky amassed a fortune in the 1990s after the privatization of Russia’s assets following the collapse of Soviet communism.
He survived numerous assassination attempts, including a bomb that decapitated his chauffeur.
In 2003 Boris Berezovsky was granted political asylum in Britain on the grounds that his life would be in danger in Russia.
He was married twice and had six children – two with each of his wives and two with a long-term partner.
Boris Berezovsky ‘s wealth is thought to have considerably diminished in recent years, leaving him struggling to pay debts in the wake of costly court cases.
In 2011, Boris Berezovsky reportedly lost more than £100 million in a divorce settlement. And, last year, he lost a £3 billion ($4.7 billion) damages claim against Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich.
Russian media have described Boris Berezovsky’s death as “the end of an era”.
On its website, the pro-Kremlin paper Komsomolskaya Pravda describes Boris Berezovsky as having been “clever, cunning, resourceful… a master of chaos”.
Meanwhile, Novaya Gazeta – which is normally critical of the Kremlin – described him as someone who “viewed Russia as a chess board”, albeit one on which “only he would be allowed to move the pieces”.
Former British ambassador to Russia Sir Andrew Wood, who knew Boris Berezovsky, said he had been a man of vigor who had tended to “over-egg his importance”, was at heart “not a bad man” and had been helpful to Britain in the past.
British police with expertise in environments contaminated with chemical, biological and nuclear material are searching the house of the late exiled Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky.
Boris Berezovsky, 67, was found dead on Saturday, and a Thames Valley police cordon remains in place as police investigate his unexplained death.
His body remains at the Berkshire house while the search – described as a precaution – takes place, police said.
They say local people are not at risk.
The ambulance service was called to the Ascot house of Boris Berezovsky at 15:18 GMT on Saturday. His body was reportedly found in a bath.
A Thames Valley police update said: “Specially trained officers are currently at the scene, including CBRN [chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear] trained officers, who are conducting a number of searches as a precaution.
“This is to enable officers to carry out an investigation into the man’s death.”
British police with expertise in environments contaminated with chemical, biological and nuclear material are searching the house of the late exiled Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky
Supt Stuart Greenfield said: “We are aware the cordon is causing disruption to local residents and we apologize for any inconvenience, but it is important we take all necessary measures to ensure a full and thorough investigation can be carried out.
“I would like to reassure residents that we are confident there is no risk to the wider community.”
He said the property was part of a large estate, so a number of roads were closed “and will remain so for the time being”.
Boris Berezovsky was a wanted man in Russia, an opponent of President Vladimir Putin, and had survived numerous assassination attempts, including a bomb that decapitated his chauffeur. He emigrated to the UK in 2000.
The Russian tycoon was a close friend of murdered Russian émigré and former KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko, who died in 2006 after he was poisoned with the radioactive material polonium-210 while drinking tea at a London meeting.
Without naming Boris Berezovsky, the Kremlin has accused its foreign-based opponents of organizing the assassination – a claim Boris Berezovsky denied. He accused Vladimir Putin of being behind the death.
In the interview with a journalist from Forbes magazine on Friday, Boris Berezovsky said that he had changed his mind on many things, his life no longer made sense and he wished he could return to Russia.
Last night a Kremlin spokesman said that Boris Berezovsky had recently written to Vladimir Putin, saying he wanted to go home.
Boris Berezovsky’s wealth is thought to have considerably diminished in recent years, leaving him struggling to pay debts in the wake of costly court cases.
Last year, Boris Berezovsky lost a £3 billion ($4.7 billion) damages claim against Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich.
Exiled Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky has been found dead at his home outside London on March 23.
Boris Berezovsky, who died at the age of 67, was a Russian dissident and a former Kremlin power broker whose fortunes went into dramatic decline as Vladimir Putin established himself as the country’s president.
He played a role in Vladimir Putin’s rise in the late 1990s, but went into opposition and then self-imposed exile as the new president consolidated his power.
Boris Berezovsky remained a wanted man in Russia until his death, and was for a long time dedicated to the anti-Putin cause.
In recent years, Boris Berezovsky’s wealth is thought to have considerably diminished and recent court cases have left him struggling to pay legal fees and other debts.
In 2012 a court battle in London with fellow “oligarch” Roman Abramovich, his former associate with whom he fell out as Vladimir Putin came to power, ended in defeat, with his allegations that he was intimidated by Abramovich into selling shares in Russian oil giant Sibneft for a “fraction of their true worth” entirely rejected by the judge.
And earlier this year, his ex-partner Yelena Gorbunova alleged in the High Court that he owed her millions of pounds from the sale of a £25 million ($39 million) property in Surrey, UK.
On March 18, The Times newspaper reported that Boris Berezovsky had been forced to try to sell a painting by Andy Warhol of the former Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin.
The role of political plotter, and financier of Russian opposition parties, was the latest in a series of reincarnations that Boris Berezovsky went through in his 67 years.
His first career was as a mathematician, his second as a car salesman, his third as a political kingmaker, nicknamed Rasputin, under Russia’s first president Boris Yeltsin.
Boris Berezovsky made his fortune importing Mercedes cars into Russia in the 1990s, and setting himself up as a middleman distributing cars made by Russia’s Avtovaz.
While Avtovaz struggled to survive, Boris Berezovsky nevertheless made millions.
By the mid-1990s, he was one of Russia’s leading oligarchs, a word used for those who made their fortunes during the wholesale privatization of state assets.
Exiled Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky has been found dead at his home outside London on March 23
As well as taking ownership of the Sibneft oil company, Boris Berezovsky became the main shareholder in the country’s main television channel, ORT, which he turned into a propaganda vehicle for Boris Yeltsin in the run-up to the 1996 presidential election.
Boris Berezovsky has survived numerous assassination attempts, including a bomb that decapitated his chauffeur.
He took Forbes magazine to court for describing him as the “godfather of the Kremlin” and linking him to the murder of a popular television journalist.
Forbes settled out of court, accepting that the allegations were false.
Boris Berezovsky was at the height of his power in the later Yeltsin years, when he was deputy secretary of Russia’s security council, a friend of Boris Yeltsin’s daughter Tatyana, and a member of the Yeltsin inner circle, or “family”.
Although he helped Vladimir Putin enter the family, and funded the party that formed Putin’s parliamentary base, the new president moved to regain control of the ORT television station, and to curb the political ambitions of Russia’s oligarchs.
Boris Berezovsky left Russia for self-imposed exile in the UK at the end of 2000.
An early attempt to promote opposition to Vladimir Putin, by funding the Liberal Russia party, ended in disaster when its two most prominent members were assassinated.
“I understood [then] that this way of open opposition doesn’t work, at least for me. And that’s the reason why I decided to choose the other way,” he later said.
Without naming Boris Berezovsky, the Kremlin accused its foreign-based opponents of organizing the 2006 assassinations of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko and the campaigning journalist Anna Politkovskaya, in order to discredit Vladimir Putin.
Boris Berezovsky denied the allegation, and accused Vladimir Putin of himself being behind Alexander Litvinenko’s death.
Boris Berezovsky bought the ex-spy – himself in exile in London – a house in Muswell Hill and helped him to publicize claims that Vladimir Putin organized the bombings of apartment blocks in Russia, in 1999, which paved the way for Russia’s second military intervention in Chechnya.
He said Vladimir Putin was prepared to kill anyone that he defined as an enemy of Russia, and that he himself was a target.
That is why the mansion Boris Berezovsky bought for £10 million ($15 million) from former disc jockey Chris Evans was equipped with bullet-proof windows, laser monitors, spy cameras and reinforced steel doors.
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