MOSCOW, May 29 - RAPSI. Russia's Investigative Committee has opened two criminal cases against businessman Boris Berezovsky in connection with public calls to mass riots, says Vladimir Markin, the committee's official representative.
Markin says that Berezovsky publically called for Russian citizens to take to violent mass riots, with particular reference to those riots in central Moscow attempting to stop the inauguration of the newly-elected president by force and to prevent him from entering the Kremlin on May 7. Berezovsky allegedly promised a monetary reward if Putin was successfully detained.
The second case under the same article has been initiated against Berezovsky for the publication of a letter entitled "Open letter to those not born in the USSR" on a radio station's website on February 1, 2012, Markin said. This letter also incited mass public riots, Vladimir Markin said.
Both criminal cases have been combined into a single proceeding. Investigators are trying to gather information and proof of the crime.
Berezovsky moved to the UK in 2000. In 2003, the UK courts refused to extradite him to Russia at the request of the Prosecutor General's office, while the British government granted him a refugee status.
A Russian court has convicted Berezovsky of fraud, the embezzlement of AvtoVAZ, LOGOVaz and Aeroflot funds, and money laundering. Berezovsky has been sentenced in absentia to 13 and 6 years in prison.