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Monday, January 22, 2007

Russia suspends coup plot investigation against exiled tycoon
Brett Murphy at 1:20 PM ET

[JURIST] The office of the Russian Prosecutor General [official website, in Russian] has suspended its investigation into an alleged coup plot by billionaire businessman Boris Berezovsky [MosNews profile], a lawyer for Berezovsky said Monday. Berezovsky is currently living in London, and his lawyer said that the prosecutor's office has informed him that the investigation cannot be continued without Berezovsky's presence. Last year, Russian authorities requested that the British government extradite Berezovsky [JURIST report] on the coup charges after Berezovsky's comments on a Russian radio station in January 2006 that he had been planning a justifiable "forced takeover" in response to Putin's unconstitutional actions.

Berezovsky acquired his fortune in the 1990s and served as Boris Yeltsin's national security adviser. Although he helped Putin come to power as Yeltsin's successor, he soon fell out of favor and moved to the UK in 2000. He was granted asylum in 2003. Reuters has more. InterFax has local coverage.

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