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Boris Berezovsky said he intends to file a lawsuit against Russian state television
U.K.-based fugitive oligarch Boris Berezovsky said Tuesday he intends to file a lawsuit against Russian state television. Last Sunday Rossiya channel in its Vesti news program showed an interview with a new anonymous witness in the case of a former Russian security officer, Alexander Litvinenko, poisoned in London last year. "I have turned to my lawyers and they are currently preparing a lawsuit, which I intend to file with the court already this week," Berezovsky said. A press service of the Rossiya channel did not comment on the issue saying that they had no information regarding this news. The witness, who appeared on the Rossiya channel with his face hidden and was referred to as Pyotr, accused 61-year-old Berezovsky of killing Alexander Litvinenko because the former security officer knew how the exiled tycoon had obtained political asylum in Britain in 2003. Litvinenko, 44, died of radioactive poisoning in November in London shortly after he received a British passport. In his deathbed note, he blamed the Kremlin for his death, but the Kremlin denied the allegations. The new witness, who also lives in London, told Russian television that Litvinenko, allegedly his acquaintance and an associate of Berezovsky, had offered him from 2 to 40 million pounds if he testified he had been sent to London to kill Berezovsky. "You just say you were sent to murder Berezovsky with poison placed in a pen," Pyotr quoted Litvinenko as saying to him. After he refused to cooperate, Berezovsky's associates put drugs into his coffee, and falsified an audio with his "confessions," Pyotr said. Litvinenko later produced the audio as evidence in court, which Pyotr said had secured Berezovsky the status of a political emigre. In 1998, Litvinenko himself publicly told a news conference in Moscow that he had been ordered by his superiors at the Federal Security Service (FSB) to assassinate Berezovsky, who was a senior state official at the time. Pyotr said Berezovsky rewarded Litvinenko with financial support while he lived in London. The mysterious witness said Scotland Yard agents were guarding him at the request of Russian prosecutors because he was afraid he could be poisoned like Litvinenko. Scotland Yard and Russian prosecutors are investigating the Litvinenko poisoning case. Both Berezovsky and a fugitive Chechen separatist leader, Akhmed Zakayev, were questioned by Russian prosecutors and Scotland Yard agents in London Friday.
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