MOSCOW, May 29 (Itar-Tass) — Two criminal cases have been opened over calls for mass disturbances against business tycoon Boris Berezovsky who lives in Great Britain, Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin told Itar-Tass.
The case was opened on the strength of the statements placed on the Internet in April 2012 "which contains calls for mass disturbances," Markin said.
"The content of the text shows that Berezovsky publicly called upon Russian citizens for mass disturbances... with the view of forceful obstruction to the inauguration of the legitimately elected Russian President and his access to the Kremlin on May 7, promising remuneration for holding him back and restricting the freedom of movement," the spokesman said.
The second criminal case was opened in connection with Berezovsky's placing a text called "an open letter to those not born in the USSR" on a website on February 1, 2012.
"In the above text, Berezovsky publicly called for mass disturbances, namely for active illegal actions to confront government representatives with the purpose of violent obstruction to the Russian residential election," the spokesman said.
"The SK's main office initiated criminal proceedings under Article 212, Part 3 /"calls for mass disturbances"/. The article envisions up to 2 years of restriction or deprivation of freedom. The two cases have been pooled into one.
"A range of investigative measures are being carried out to gather and solidify evidence," Markin said.
The Russian authorities brought a total of 11 charges against Berezovsky, including the theft of 13 million dollars of the SBS-Agro bank. On November 29, 2007, Moscow's Savyolovsky court found him guilty of stealing 215 million roubles of the Aeroflot company and sentenced him in absentia to six years in prison.
On June 25, 2009, the Krasnogorsk court of Moscow Region sentenced him to 13 years in the case over the theft of 60 billion roubles of the AvtoVAZ car-maker.
In 2010, the Russian Prosecutor General's Office reported that the judicial bodies of Russia and Switzerland had passed five guilty verdicts for Berezovsky and his accomplices, and that the verdicts had come into force.
Also, five criminal cases over ten counts of crime against Berezovsky and his accomplices from the transnational criminal community he set up are now under investigation.
In October 2009, the SK charged Berezovsky with masterminding the organization of the criminal community, whose members had committed economic crimes in Russia and beyond in the period from 1991 through 2001.
Berezovsky still lives in Great Britain. The PGO insists on his extradition. London's magistrates court refused extradition several times on the grounds that Berezovsky had been granted political asylum in 2003.