Moscow court upholds Berezovsky arrest warrant
( RIA Novosti ) - The Moscow City Court upheld Monday an arrest warrant for fugitive Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky on charges of embezzling $13 million from SBS-Agro Bank.
The court rejected the defense team's appeal against the warrant.
The arrest order follows charges that Berezovsky, who lives in the United Kingdom, diverted $13 million from SBS-Agro Bank, once a leading Russian bank, and used the money to buy real estate on the Mediterranean coast.
The United Kingdom has refused Russia's repeated requests for the extradition of Berezovsky.
Defense lawyer Andrei Borovkov said the certificates for property allegedly bought by Berezovsky with the stolen funds did not mention his name. "This is the sixth attempt to arrest Berezovsky, but there is no evidence," the tycoon's lawyer said.
The Prosecutor General's Office has pushed for Berezovsky's real estate in France to be seized, and the Basmanny Court earlier ordered the arrest of the Clocher de la Garoupe estate on the Cote d'Azur, which the billionaire previously rented.
On August 7 Moscow's Basmanny Court passed its sixth sanction of Berezovsky's arrest.
His first warrant was issued in 1999. Prosecutors charged the billionaire with embezzling over 214 million rubles ($8.3 million) from national air carrier Aeroflot, and laundering more than 16 million rubles ($620,000). The charges carry up to 10 years in jail.
Eleven probes have so far been launched against Berezovksy, who now goes by the name Platon Elenin in the United Kingdom, where he has been granted political asylum and citizenship.
The outspoken ex-oligarch, once a media magnate with interests in aviation and car manufacturing, announced plans in April to overthrow President Vladimir Putin by force. Berezovsky faces charges of plotting a coup in Russia, for which he faces up to 20 years in prison.