Oligarch Charged

Kremlin charges Berezovsky with coup plot

Luke Harding in Moscow

Russia today charged the exiled tycoon Boris Berezovsky with conspiring to seize power on the basis of an interview he gave to the Guardian calling for a violent revolution in Russia.

Mr Berezovksy’s lawyer, Andrei Borovkov, said today the London-based former oligarch faced new charges of attempting to stage a coup against the Russian president, Vladimir Putin.

The Federal Security Service (FSB), Russia’s domestic state security agency, had charged him on the basis of an interview he gave to the Guardian on April 13, his lawyer said.

In it, the tycoon claimed he was plotting the violent overthrow of President Putin from his base in Britain after forging close contacts with members of Russia’s ruling elite.In comments that appeared deliberately calculated to infuriate the Kremlin, Mr Berezovsky said he was already bankrolling people close to the president who were conspiring to mount a palace coup.