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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Prosecutors: Berezovsky Inquest Still Going On

The Federal Security Service and the Prosecutor General's Office on Tuesday denied that a criminal investigation into Boris Berezovsky had been suspended.

Berezovsky's lawyer Andrei Borovkov said Monday that the Prosecutor General's Office had decided to suspend the investigation. Berezovsky, a businessman and former Kremlin kingmaker who lives in exile in London, was charged with attempting to seize power by force and making public calls for extremist activities.

But spokesmen for the Federal Security Service, or FSB, and Prosecutor General's Office said Tuesday that the investigation was continuing.

Ekho Moskvy radio posted on its web site a scanned copy of what appeared to be an official FSB letter to Berezovsky's lawyer Semyon Aria, informing him that an investigation into a case, for which only a number was given, had been suspended.

It was not immediately clear whether the letter, dated Jan. 20, referred to the extremism case against Berezovsky. Aria could not be reached Tuesday.

Prosecutors opened the case last February after Berezovsky told journalists in January 2006 that he was working to bring about a "forced takeover of power" in Russia.

Russia asked for Britain to extradite Berezovsky. The request was not honored, but Jack Straw, then Britain's foreign minister, issued a stern warning to Berezovsky that his asylum status could be reviewed if he continued his inflammatory rhetoric.

Speaking on Ekho Moskvy late Monday, Berezovsky suggested that prosecutors might have suspended the extremism investigation in connection with their inquest into the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko, who died in London in November.

The Prosecutor General's Office has said it plans to send a team of investigators to Britain to question several witnesses in the Litvinenko case, including Berezovsky.

"[The prosecutor's office] wishes to demonstrate that it has no other reason to meet me except for the Litvinenko case," Berezovsky said.

Berezovsky is also wanted in Russia on fraud and embezzlement charges. He was granted asylum in Britain in 2003.

The Financial Times reported Tuesday that British police were close to submitting a file to the Crown Prosecution Service thought to identify individuals suspected of involvement in Litvinenko's murder. The Crown Prosecution Service will consider whether there are reasonable grounds for a prosecution in a British court. No charges have been filed.