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Russia: British Police Arrest Berezovskii

London, 25 March 2003 (RFE/RL) -- British police said today they arrested Russian businessman Boris Berezovskii for alleged fraud at the request of Russian authorities. Police in London said Berezovskii was arrested yesterday. He was released on bail and is to appear in a London court on 2 April.

A Russian extradition request charges that Berezovskii defrauded the authorities of Samara Oblast while director of the LogoVaz company in 1994-95. A LogoVaz associate, Yurii Dubov, also was arrested yesterday and will appear in court alongside Berezovskii.

Berezovskii, once a powerful oil and media magnate with links to the Kremlin, fled to Britain shortly after prosecutors launched fraud charges against him in 1997. He has since become fiercely critical of President Vladimir Putin and says the charges against him are in retaliation for his criticism.