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Exiled tycoon Berezovsky meets with Georgian opposition-2

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Georgia's political opposition leaders have held consultations with London-based Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky, Georgia's Rustavi-2 TV-channel reported on Thursday.
(Adds Khaindrava quotes, opposition reaction in paras 5-7)

TBILISI, March 13 (RIA Novosti) - Georgia's political opposition leaders have held consultations with London-based Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky, Georgia's Rustavi-2 TV-channel reported on Thursday.

The channel said Berezovsky, wanted for embezzlement in his homeland, confirmed this information, saying he had met with Georgian unified opposition leader Giorgy Khaindrava in the British capital.

"This is true. I will not comment on anything else," Berezovsky told a reporter for the channel.

Speaking to journalists on Thursday, Khaindrava confirmed that he had travelled to London, but said he made the trip to see the widow of Georgian businessman and opposition leader Badri Patarkatsishvili, who died in London of a heart attack on February 13.

"I met in London with Inna Gudavadze, Patarkatsishvili's widow. Boris Berezovsky was present at that meeting. We spoke about Badri and many other things," he said, without providing further details.

"Gudavadze will issue a detailed statement about the meeting," he said.

Khaindrava's visit to London and his meeting with Berezovsky came as a surprise to other members of the united opposition, which said previously that his purported meeting with the Russian tycoon was merely a rumor spread by pro-government media.

Last month Berezovsky applied to the Georgian consulate in London for an urgent visa to attend Patarkatsishvili's funeral, but was refused.

The television channel also said that Berezovsky met with Tinatin Khidasheli, a member of Georgia's Republican Party and the wife of the party's leader.

Russia has issued multiple warrants for Berezovsky's arrest and has repeatedly demanded that the U.K. extradite him. The businessman is accused of plotting to stage a coup in Russia, as well as embezzling $13 million from a leading Russian bank. He has been sentenced 'in absentia' to six years imprisonment in Moscow on charges of stealing funds from the state airline Aeroflot.

Eleven criminal probes have so far been launched in Russia against Berezovsky, a one-time close associate of the late Russian president Boris Yeltsin.

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