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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

France Next Stop on Berezovsky Trail

APKovtun and Lugovoi walking along Novy Arbat on Wednesday on their way to a news conference at Ekho Moskvy.
Investigators will travel to France in the coming days to give evidence to French prosecutors in a money-laundering case against London-based tycoon Boris Berezovsky, the Prosecutor General's Office said Wednesday.

Berezovsky, who was the focus of a new attack Wednesday from Andrei Lugovoi, Britain's chief suspect in the murder of Alexander Litvinenko, once again denied the charges.

"An investigative brigade will fly to Paris in the near future," said Dmitry Dovgy, an assistant to Alexander Bastyrkin, head of the newly formed Investigative Committee, which conducts the Prosecutor General's Office detective work.

The trip is unlikely to happen before Sept. 7, the day the Investigative Committee officially starts work Dovgy said.

A message left with the French Justice Ministry was not answered Wednesday.

In the case, Berezovsky is accused of using stolen money to acquire a villa in southern France in 1997. French authorities have seized the property at Russian prosecutors' request.

Last week, a Dutch tax delegation met members of the Investigative Committee in Moscow in connection with criminal proceedings recently opened against Berezovsky in the Netherlands, Dovgy said.

The Dutch Finance Ministry did not immediately respond to e-mailed requests for confirmation of the visit by tax authorities and for more information.

Last month, prosecutors moved to charge Berezovsky with stealing $13 million from SBS-Agro, a banking giant that went bankrupt in the 1998 crisis.

Berezovsky said Wednesday that he had never dealt with the bank and that his lawyers had not been contacted about the issue. He also said he had no business dealings in the Netherlands.

Moscow's Savyolovsky District Court is currently trying Berezovsky in absentia on charges of embezzling millions of dollars from Aeroflot.

He is also wanted in Brazil, where he is accused of laundering money through the Corinthians football team.

He lives in London, where he has received political asylum. Prosecutors have unsuccessfully sought his extradition.

Britain, in turn, has asked the prosecutors to hand over Lugovoi, who it believes killed Litvinenko in November. Lugovoi and Litvinenko, a former FSB officer and Kremlin critic, met at the Millennium Hotel bar in London on Nov. 1. Three weeks later, Litvinenko died of radiation poisoning.

In a video linkup with British journalists in London on Wednesday, Lugovoi said he would agree to be tried, but only in Russia. "Why has Britain failed to send proof of my guilt?" Lugovoi said in Ekho Moskvy radio's offices.

"The criminals and fraudsters hiding behind the so-called wall of British justice were able to use this whole provocation to discredit everything that is happening in Russia," Lugovoi said, referring to Berezovsky.

Also at the news conference was Lugovoi's associate Dmitry Kovtun, a businessman who also met Litvinenko several times before he died.