MOSCOW, May 13 (RIA Novosti)
Russian UK-based tycoon Boris Berezovsky has provided Prince Michael of Kent with 320,000 pounds in the past six years, The Sunday Times said quoting court documents.
Berezovsky, who has sentenced to six years in jail at home in absentia for fraud, transferred the money to the prince via his secretary’s firm, the paper said.
Prince Michael, 69, is the Queen’s cousin and a grandnephew of the murdered Russian Tsar Nicholas II.
The paper said a Berezovsky-controlled fund made 56 transfers of 5-15,000 pounds each to the unnamed secretary’s firm between 2002 and 2008, allegedly via offshore companies.
The paper quoted Berezovsky as saying that the money went to the prince’s personal needs to cover up his financial difficulties, ‘a friends’ affair’ as he put it.
The paper quoted another source close the businessman and Prince Michael that the money was used to pay for the prince’s rent in the Royal Kensington Palace in West London. Another source said it was used to pay the servants.
Last week, Berezovsky’s lawyer Mark Hastings said his client had never tried to get any advantages from his friendship with Prince Michael.
In 2002, when the first money transfer was effected from Berezovsky’s coffers, a scandal erupted around Prince Michael and his family paying a mere 69 pounds a week for their residence in Kensington Palace.
MPs later said taxpayers must not pay for the prince’s residence and demanded his expulsion from the palace.
Queen Elizabeth II stepped in and promised to cover his rent of 100,000 pounds a year.
Berezovsky was granted political asylum in Britain in 2003, three years after he left Russia, which continues seeking his extradition.
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