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Members of Russia's ruling party plan to use the platform of the London Economic Forum in April to call for the extradition of Boris Berezovsky
Members of Russia's ruling party plan to use the platform of the London Economic Forum in April to call for the extradition of fugitive Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky, a United Russia member said Tuesday. "We believe the evidence presented by the [Russian] Prosecutor General's Office is quite sufficient and convincing," said Andrei Isayev, who also heads the labor and social policy committee in the State Duma, the lower house of parliament. "Berezovsky has openly called for overthrowing the legitimate government, which is to be prosecuted under Russian law." In February, Russian prosecutors opened a new criminal case on coup attempt charges against Berezovsky, 60, who said in a radio interview January 24 that he was planning to overthrow Vladimir Putin's administration, and made a fresh extradition request. Foreign Secretary Jack Straw warned Berezovsky, who was granted political asylum in the U.K. in 2004, that his status could be reviewed. "They [those granted asylum] are advised that their refugee status can be reviewed at any time when it is considered their presence is not conducive to the public good," Straw said. The U.K. previously rejected Russia's extradition request for Berezovsky on fraud and money laundering charges. The oligarch's personal fortune is estimated at $1.5 billion. Isayev said he hoped the issue would be settled in line with international law, adding that only bias and double standards could prevent British justice officials from honoring the extradition request. In a bid to help Russian law enforcement and prosecutors fight terrorists, their accomplices and other offenders and counter media accusations of ineffectiveness, United Russia intends to assist in securing the return of Berezovsky and other people living in Britain who are wanted in their home country. The U.K. is harboring more than a dozen suspects wanted in Russia in connection with the long-running case around embattled oil company Yukos, as well as Akhmed Zakayev, known as the Chechen militants' envoy and wanted in Russia on terrorism charges.
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