Berezovsky Accused of Politkovskaya’s Murder, Kommersant Reports

Boris Berezovsky, a Russian billionaire living in exile in the U.K., is facing fresh accusations of ordering the murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaya, Kommersant reported.

The Investigative Committee received testimony from a former police officer charged with organizing the 2006 killing which points to Berezovsky as the person behind the crime, the Moscow-based newspaper said, without citing anyone.

Andrei Borovkov, Berezovsky’s Moscow-based lawyer, said his client dismissed the allegations against him as “complete rubbish.” The Investigative Committee’s spokesman, Vladimir Markin, didn’t respond to a faxed request for comment.

Berezovsky, 65, an opponent of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin who was granted political asylum in the U.K. in 2003, has previously denied any involvement in Politkovskaya’s murder after allegations by Russian officials. He’s accused the Russian government of responsibility for the killing.

“The Russian authorities have failed to get Berezovsky’s extradition from the U.K. and now they are looking for a new way,” Borovkov said in a phone interview today. “They have this person in custody who’s agreed to collaborate.” Berezovsky, who fled Russia in 2001, has been sentenced in absentia to prison for embezzlement.

Politkovskaya, a correspondent for the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, wrote about corruption under then-President Putin and chronicled abuses by security forces in the mainly Muslim region of Chechnya.

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