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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

After Berezovsky, Dubov Granted Asylum in U.K.

VedomostiYuly Dubov
LONDON -- A British court dropped extradition proceedings against Yuly Dubov on Tuesday after it was told the businessman had been granted asylum here.

Judge Timothy Workman said in Bow St. Magistrates Court that there was no purpose continuing with the case following the order made by the Home Office on Sept. 30.

Russia has requested the extradition of Dubov, Boris Berezovsky, and a business associate, Badri Patarkatsishvili, on charges of fraud at flagship carmaker AvtoVAZ. Workman ruled last month that Berezovsky could not be extradited after he was granted asylum.

In London, Russia's ambassador, Grigory Karasin, said the decision to give political asylum to Dubov could affect Russian-British relations.

Britain's Foreign Office responded by issuing a statement saying it hopes the two countries can maintain strong ties.

Dubov did not attend court for the hearing Tuesday after receiving permission to stay away on security grounds.

At a news conference held by Dubov and Berezovsky later Tuesday, Dubov said he did not believe his case would damage Russian-British ties.

"Russia shouldn't start criminal cases that are fabricated and bogus, pretending they have a political ground," he added.

Berezovsky said: "This day is very important for the entire Russian business community. We're all described as bandits, but Great Britain, one of the most important democracies, showed that's not the case. We are only under pressure at home because we had an independent vision of Russia."

Outside Bow St. Magistrates Court, Dubov's lawyer, Andrew Stephenson, said Russia was attempting to persecute Dubov for his criticism of President Vladimir Putin's control over mass media and his policy toward Chechnya.

John Hardy, the British lawyer acting on behalf of Moscow, criticized Home Secretary David Blunkett for not explaining why he had granted political asylum.

Dubov and Berezovsky were arrested by British police in March.

Patarkatsishvili is living in Georgia, where authorities there say they have no plans to turn him over.

Roman Abramovich, the billionaire and former prot?g? of Berezovsky, flew into Tbilisi to visit Patarkatsishvili last weekend, Interfax reported. The purpose of the meeting was unclear.