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Berezovsky Denies TV Report

Self-exiled businessman Boris Berezovsky on Monday denied a report that he had sought to strengthen his 2003 bid for British asylum by paying a man to testify that he had been sent from Moscow to kill him.

On Sunday, the "Vesti Nedeli" news magazine show on state-owned Rossia television aired an interview with an unidentified man who claimed to have been recruited by Berezovsky's acquaintance, former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko, to testify that he was an intelligence agent who had been assigned to kill Berezovsky.

Speaking by telephone from London, Berezovsky identified the man as Vladimir Teplyuk and denied that Teplyuk had testified at his asylum hearing.

Berezovsky said Teplyuk had attended the hearings and had been questioned by his security detail. Teplyuk said he was also planning to apply for asylum and wanted to get a sense of what was involved, Berezovsky said.

The man whom Berezovsky identified as Teplyuk said on "Vesti Nedeli" that Litvinenko, who died of polonium-210 poisoning in November, had asked him to testify at the hearing in order to convince the judge that Berezovsky's life was in danger.

Berezovsky dismissed this claim. "I didn't make use of his 'services' when I was applying for asylum," Berezovsky said. "That is, none of his testimony was admitted in the case or entered into the record."

(The Moscow Times 03.iv.07)

 
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