MOSCOW, March 1 - RAPSI. Britain has granted political asylum to Andrei Borodin, the former head of the Bank of Moscow charged with fraud, his lawyer Dmitry Kharitonov told RAPSI on Friday.

"Yes, he has been granted asylum in the UK. This is an irreversible decision," the lawyer said.

Borodin claims that the criminal cases against him and his first deputy were opened on false premises and were politically motivated.

The Russian court has placed an injunction over $400 million in Borodins foreign bank accounts and has arrested his land plots, unfinished construction projects, exclusive cars and his small stake in the Bank of Moscow.

The Bank of Moscow, which was taken over by VTB last year and issued 295 billion rubles (nearly $10 billion) to replenish its budget, will claim the arrested assets if Borodin is proved in court to have caused the bank losses, a bank spokesperson said in October last year.

Russia launched a criminal case against Borodin and his former first deputy Dmitry Akulinin in late 2010 on charges of large-scale fraud involving state funds. They are accused of improperly loaning $443 million to shell companies which then transferred the cash to Yelena Baturina, the wife of Moscow ex-mayor Yury Luzhkov and the former owner of the construction empire Inteco.

Borodin, whose Bank of Moscow functioned as the capital's chief investment vehicle under Luzhkov, fled to the UK in 2011.