MOSCOW, October 22 (RIA Novosti) - Russian prosecutors seek a nine-year prison term for Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky on charges of embezzling millions of rubles from Russia's flagship air carrier, Aeroflot, his lawyer said Monday.
Prosecutors charged the billionaire in absentia with embezzling over 214 million rubles ($8.3 million) from the national air carrier and laundering more than 16 million rubles ($620,000). The charges are punishable by up to 10 years in jail.
"The investigation has proved Berezovsky's guilt of all the alleged crimes. His guilt was proved by the criminal case materials and witness testimonies," said Berezovsky's lawyer Alexander Dudkin citing State Prosecutor Alexander Koblyakov.
Dudkin added that the defense would express its position to prosecution demands for a nine-year prison term during the next case hearing scheduled for October 29.
London has rejected Russia's repeated requests to extradite Berezovsky, who is also accused of embezzling $13 million from a leading Russian bank, SBS-Agro Bank, and of attempts to stage a coup in Russia, the two latest cases having been opened in the summer and spring of 2007, respectively.
Berezovsky, who fled Russia six years ago, has refused to send any of his own defense lawyers to his trials-in-absentia in Moscow, which he has branded a "farce."
Eleven probes have so far been launched against Berezovksy, who now goes by the name of Platon Elenin in the United Kingdom, where he has been granted political asylum and citizenship.
The outspoken ex-oligarch, once a media magnate with interests in aviation and car manufacturing, announced plans in April to overthrow President Vladimir Putin by force. Berezovsky faces charges of plotting a coup in Russia, for which he faces up to 20 years in prison.
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We have witnessed the total defeat of western Ukraine, Western nationalists and the West in general, which made the unfortunate decision to support the anti-government activity. They failed to realize that the collapse of Yanukovych means the collapse of Ukrainian unity. They set fire to their own home and planted a time bomb under Ukraine’s territorial integrity.