[JURIST] A Russian court Thursday found exiled business tycoon Boris Berezovsky [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] guilty of embezzling 214 million rubles from Russian national airline Aeroflot [official website]. The court sentenced him to six years in prison, though prosecutors had asked for nine years [JURIST report]. Berezovsky was tried in absentia, as he now resides in the UK as a political refugee. He has denied all charges, which he characterizes as politically motivated. Berezovsky has long been a vocal critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin [official website] and especially his handling of war in Chechnya [BBC timeline]. AP has more.
Prosecutors have also accused Berezovsky of plotting a coup [JURIST report] against Putin, and in July, prosecutors alleged that he embezzled credit funds [JURIST report] from SBS-Agro Bank [EBRD profile], which he then owned, to purchase real estate in southern France. Berezovsky has denied those charges as well.