Berezovsky backs Yukos chief

May 27, 2004 at 12:47 PM

MOSCOW, May 27 (UPI) -- Russian billionaire Boris Berezovsky is backing his jailed fellow oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the Moscow Times reported Thursday.

The paper said Berezovsky had told Ekho Moskvy Radio in an interview he supported a protest in London calling for the release of the former Yukos oil chief executive. Khodorkovsky has been held in jail in Moscow since last October and is awaiting trial on charges of fraud and tax evasion.

In the past, Khodorkovsky and Berezovsky were fierce business rivals. But now Berezovsky is calling for Khodorkovsky's release.

"He does not pose a threat to society. He did not intend to flee. He is being kept in jail contrary to all norms," Berezovsky told Ekho Moskvy.

Berezovsky said in the London protest, 100 Mercedes luxury cars drove to the Russian consulate, each carrying a poster demanding Khodorkovsky's release.

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