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Russian tycoon denies knowledge of Kommersant sales deal

MOSCOW, June 12 (RIA Novosti) - Fugitive Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky, who was granted political asylum in Britain, has said that he was not aware of the sale of the Kommersant publishing house to Chelsea soccer club owner Roman Abramovich.

"I do not know anything about it," Berezovsky said in a telephone interview with Echo Moskvy radio station on Sunday night. "This deal has certainly not been concluded because the proceeds from the deal have not showed up on my accounts."

Berezovsky has earlier sold his share in the Kommersant publishing house to his business partner Badri Patarkatsishvili, a Georgian media and financial tycoon who is also on Russia's wanted list, as part of his plan to get rid of unnecessary business assets in Russia.

Some media sources previously reported that Patarkatsishvili had sold the Kommersant to Abramovich, who is also the governor of Chukotka, a region in Russia's extreme north.

(The Moscow Times 12.vi.06)

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