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Tycoon Berezovsky wins slander suit vs. Alfa head in London


LONDON, May 26 (RIA Novosti) - A London court awarded Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky 50,000 pounds in damages Friday in a slander case brought against one of Russia's richest men, Mikhail Fridman.

Berezovsky, who has been granted asylum in the United Kingdom, was suing Fridman, head of the industrial and financial giant Alfa Group, over comments made on a popular Russian television talk show in 2004.

Fridman alleged Berezovsky had threatened to kill him in 1999 when the two were vying for control of the Kommersant Publishing House, which was finally bought by Berezovsky.

But a jury at the London Royal Court handed down a 10-1 split decision in favor of Berezovsky because they said Fridman had failed to present convincing evidence that Berezovsky had threatened to kill him.

"I take this not just a victory, but an indisputable victory with a 10-1 score," Berezovsky said.

Berezovsky's victory was hailed by a group of Russia's so called "new political refugees" including Akhmed Zakayev, known as the Chechen militants' envoy and wanted in Russia on terrorism charges. The group also included Yuly Dubov, accused in Russia of fraud, and former state security colonel Alexander Litvinenko, who defected in 2000.

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