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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Detectives Question Berezovsky, Zakayev

LONDON -- Russian investigators have questioned businessman Boris Berezovsky and Chechen rebel envoy Akhmed Zakayev in London over the poisoning death of former intelligence agent Alexander Litvinenko, British law enforcement officials said Sunday.

Zakayev and Berezovsky said they had been interviewed on Friday in the presence of officials from the Prosecutor General's Office, which is investigating Litvinenko's death.

State television planned to broadcast an interview on Sunday with a man who claimed Litvinenko's death might have been connected to a plot to strengthen Berezovsky's successful petition for asylum in Britain.

An unidentified man interviewed by "Vesti Nedeli," a news magazine show on the state-owned Rossia channel, claimed to have been asked to pose as a security agent sent to Britain to kill Berezovsky, Russian news agencies said. Rossia declined to provide an advance transcript of the interview.

The interviewee said Litvinenko might have been killed because he was the only other witness to the plan, Russian media reported.

Litvinenko died Nov. 23 in a London hospital. In a deathbed message, he accused Putin of being behind his poisoning with radioactive polonium-210.

Officials from the Prosecutor General's Office have asked to visit several sites in London and to question about 100 people, aiming to determine how Litvinenko was poisoned.

British police have delivered an interim file on the death to prosecutors, but no charges have been filed in connection with the poisoning.

Berezovsky said he was questioned for around four hours on Friday, RIA-Novosti reported.

"I had the impression that a tax inspector or a representative of a big Russian bank had come who wanted to find out where my accounts are," Berezovsky was quoted as saying.

Investigators wanted to know Litvinenko's financial status and "how much money he had in his account and who would inherit what he had," Berezovsky said.

Berezovsky previously has suggested that Russian investigators are less interested in finding Litvinenko's killer than in investigating his own finances, possibly with a view to filing new criminal charges against him.

Berezovsky said he had been interviewed at London police headquarters.

A British law enforcement official, who requested anonymity in return for discussing the case, said both men had been questioned at another location in London. British officers have conducted interviews on behalf of Russian investigators, the official said.

Zakayev, who successfully fought deportation from Britain to Russia, said he had met with the Russian investigators in the hope of speeding up a British inquiry into his friend's death.

"I did not want to give the Russian authorities any way to block the work of Scotland Yard, which is conducting an absolutely objective investigation and trying to reach the truth," Zakayev told RIA-Novosti. "I want those who participated in and are guilty of the death of my friend to be found."