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Berezovsky Indicted for Massive Fraud in LogoVAZ Case

Published: October 25, 2002 (Issue # 815)



  • Boris Berezovsky
    Photo: For The St. Petersburg Times

MOSCOW - Prosecutors turned up the heat on exiled magnate Boris Berezovsky on Wednesday, indicting the former Kremlin insider and two of his business associates for "large-scale fraud" at flagship automaker AvtoVAZ.

Deputy Prosecutor General Vladimir Kolesnikov said that Berezovsky, together with Badri Patarkatsishvili and Yuly Dubov, used Berezovsky's LogoVAZ dealership in a complicated scheme to defraud AvtoVAZ out of more than 2,000 cars worth $13 million in 1994 and 1995.

Berezovsky, who has lived in London since fleeing the country two years ago, and Patarkatsishvili, who reportedly lives in Georgia, have already been charged with car theft as part of a sweeping investigation of criminal activity at Tolyatti-based AvtoVAZ. But the new, more serious charge allows prosecutors to seize Berezovsky's property and formally seek his extradition.

"We have no doubts that British law-enforcement bodies will [comply with] our request for extradition, in line with legislation and international accords," news agencies quoted Kolesnikov as saying. "All the extradition documents have been prepared."

Last month, Georgia said that it would not extradite Patarkatsishvili. Dubov, who wrote a book on Berezovsky's life upon which the hit movie "The Oligarch" is based, is reportedly in Moscow.

Kolesnikov said that arrest warrants would be officially issued this week.

In a telephone interview from London, Berezovsky laughed off the charge.

"The Prosecutor General's Office doesn't impress me anymore," he said. "I have lost count - is this the fifth or sixth crime I am charged with?"

"There is absolutely no chance [that Britain will extradite me]," he said, adding that it would be impossible to seize all of his holdings in Russia.

"They already took all I had - ORT, Ogonyok," he said. "My daughter owns a house [in Moscow]; if they take it, no problem."

"I share my Russian business with partners," he said Wednesday. "To arrest it, they will have to arrest all the businesses in Russia."

In an interview published in business daily Vedomosti last month, Berezovsky claimed to have personal assets worth $3 billion - including $1.5 billion in Russia, through stakes in Russian Aluminum, Sibneft and various media interests.

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Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at today’s Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nation’s premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the city’s elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolan’s latest film “Mommy” at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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