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Boris Berezovsky (file photo) (epa)
March 23, 2006 -- A Russian prosecutor said today Russia was preparing another request to Britain to extradite exiled Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky.
Deputy Prosecutor-General Vladimir Kolesnikov said prosecutors have opened a new case against Berezovsky in connection with his alleged call for a coup in Russia.
"The case [against Berezovsky] was opened because of an interview published on the Internet on January 25, 2006, which Berezovsky had given to Agence France Press and the Ekho Moskvy radio station," Kolesnikov said. "It is perceived from the content of the interview that Berezovsky and his supporters -- and Berezovsky claims to have a large number of them -- have been preparing to seize power in Russia by force for 1 1/2 years."
Kolesnikov said if found guilty, Berezovsky faced up to 20 years in prison. He said prosecutors were looking into allegations that Berezovsky funded radical Chechen commander Shamil Basayev.
Berezovsky, who once had close ties to the Kremlin, is wanted in Russia for alleged fraud. He is living in Great Britain, where he was granted political asylum.
He is a well-known critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin.