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Plot to kill Kremlin critic foiled

  • Story Highlights
  • Berezovsky flees Britain following advice from police about execution attempt
  • Security services are reported to have foiled a plot to kill him at a London hotel
  • The tycoon obtained asylum in the UK in 2003 fearing execution in Russia
  • London has refused Moscow's request to extradite him to face fraud charges
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LONDON, England (CNN) -- Exiled Russian billionaire Boris Berezovsky fled Britain three weeks ago after British police warned the controversial Kremlin critic that there was a plot to execute him, a spokesperson said.

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Berezovsky, a fierce critic of Putin, recently escaped Britain amid rumors a hitman planned to execute him

A Russian hitman had been captured by security services at the Hilton Hotel on London's Park Lane before an attempt to kill the exiled Russian tycoon and outspoken critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to a report in the British tabloid The Sun.

A spokesperson for Berezovsky confirmed the report but gave no details.

"He was informed by Scotland Yard of a plot to kill him. They advised him to leave the country, and after a week he was told it was OK to return," she said.

Russia's ambassador to London, Yuri Fedotov, said he was not surprised by the rumors, but rejected suggestions that the Russian government was involved.

"Mr. Berezovsky is linked to many criminal international schemes of money laundering, corruption and organized crime," he said on BBC radio, "so he should know better what kind of threats he may face."

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Berezovsky has since returned to Britain and the report is likely to further strain UK-Russo relations.

The two countries remain locked in a stand-off over Russia's failure to extradite the prime suspect, former KGB spy Andrei Lugovoi, in the murder of former spy and Russian emigre Alexander Litvinenko. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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