Russian tycoon found dead in London

Big News
Saturday 23rd March, 2013

Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky has been found dead at his home near London.

The billionaire, who had been living in exile, was 67.

His property in the Thames Valley in Ascot, Berkshire, has been cordoned off while police investigate.

Berezovsky was known as a man who could exert huge political influence for his own ends.

He became an outspoken critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom he fell out with after striking it rich as a car dealer in the 1990s.

For a time, he was regarded as the man who had helped Putin take over from Boris Yeltsin, whom he had also supported in his rise to power, enjoying huge influence while doing so.

When Vladimir Putin took power, Putin moved to curb the political ambitions of Russia’s oligarchs, thus offending Berezovsky, who then pledged to work from exile to depose President Putin.

Last year, Mr Berezovsky lost a $4.7 billion damages claim against Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich after accusing Mr Abramovich of having sold shares in Russian oil firm Sibneft for a fraction of their true worth.

Berezovsky once owned Sibneft, as well as being a major shareholder in other Russian companies.

The allegations were completely rejected in court by a judge who referred to Mr Berezovsky as an unreliable witness.

The BBC has reported that Mr Berezovsky was depressed after the loss of the court case and was under financial pressure, leaving him struggling to pay for court costs.

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