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Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky found dead in Britain

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

London, Mar 23 (EFE).- Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky, long at odds with Russian President Vladimir Putin, was found dead at his home in Ascot outside London, a friend of his said Saturday.

The public relations and advertising entrepreneur, Lord Tim Bell, told British media of his death, adding that "his body was found by his bodyguard. No other details are available at this time."

The causes of Berezovsky's death are not yet known, though some media say he was depressed and might have committed suicide. Such a possibility has not been confirmed.

The 67-year-old mogul sought exile in this country in 2000 because of problems with Putin's Russia, only to have a costly business clash in London with another Russian, Roman Abramovich, the owner of England's Chelsea soccer club.

In 2012, Berezovsky, who never went anywhere without his bodyguards, lost a multimillionaire legal battle against Abramovich, which he undertook on grounds that the latter had intimidated him into selling shares in the Russian oil company Sibneft for a "fraction" of their real value.

However, the Russian oligarch's accusations were tossed out by a London court.

Both Berezovsky and Abramovich piled up vast fortunes in the Russia of Boris Yeltsin.

The Russian oligarch - a mathematician in the Soviet era and a friend of the Yeltsin family - began his business career as a car dealer.

When Putin took power and turned against him, he fled to several countries before finally settling in Britain.

In the British capital, Berezovsky went to court in October 2011 to accuse Abramovich, one of the best-known millionaires in London, of having forced him to sell his share of Sibneft for "an amount substantially inferior to its real value by means of threats."

But neither of the two were able to bring documentary proof to support their versions of the case dealing with their relations in the 1990s.

As the judge in London said at the time, Berezovsky was "an inherently unreliable" witness.

Berezovsky was a friend of Russian ex-secret agent Alexander Litvinenko, poisoned in London with a radioactive substance in late 2006.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/agencia-efe/130323/russian-tycoon-boris-berezovsky-found-dead-britain