Russia seeking extradition of Berezovsky

March 2, 2006 at 1:00 PM

MOSCOW, March 2 (UPI) -- Russia is seeking the extradition of businessman Boris Berezovsky from Britain on charges of calling for the overthrow of Vladimir Putin's government.

The request was made based on a Jan. 24 interview with the Echo Moskvy radio station from his London office, the Novosti news agency reported.

"President Putin violates the constitution and any violent action on the opposition's part is justified today," Berezovsky said. "That includes taking power by force, which is exactly what I am working on."

Berezovsky is living in self-imposed exile. Russia requested his extradition in 2002, on charges of fraud regarding carmaker AutoVAZ. Prosecutors also named him as the main suspect in the embezzlement of large sums from Aeroflot, Russia's national airline, in which he owned a significant stake.

The case is now being investigated by Russia's Federal Security Service, Mosnews reported. If British authorities agree to extradite Berezovsky, he will face up to 20 years in Russian prison.

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