Court Upholds Berezovsky's Conviction

A Moscow court on Monday upheld a six-year jail term against self-exiled businessman and fierce Kremlin critic Boris Berezovsky for embezzling millions of dollars from the Aeroflot airline.

Berezovsky has been granted refugee status in London and claims that his conviction in absentia was politically motivated.

He was found guilty in November of embezzling 214 million rubles ($8.76 million) with an organized group from the airline in the 1990s.

Lawyers for Prosecutor General Yury Chaika, were backed by the Moscow City Court. It rejected Berezovsky's appeal against the Nov. 29 ruling in the Savyolovsky District Court.

The businessman's lawyer Alexander Dudkin insisted in court that his client was innocent and stated that "there is nothing illegal in Berezovsky's actions, as described in this case."

Britain has rejected Russia's demand for Berezovsky's extradition to stand trial in Moscow, one of several irritants that have damaged relations between the countries.

Berezovsky also employed Alexander Litvinenko, a former state security agent, who was murdered by radiation poisoning in London in 2006.