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    DEPUTY REFUSES TO RULE OUT BEREZOVSKY LINK TO MURDER

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    MOSCOW, 5 March 2004. RIA Novosti

    State Duma deputy Viktor Pokhmelkin has given evidence to a Moscow court that is hearing a case into the murder of deputy Sergei Yushenkov, who was also a founder of the Liberal Russia party. While speaking on Friday, he refused to rule out that Boris Berezovsky, a Russian tycoon who is currently living in London, could be implicated in the killing.

    At the same time, Mr. Pokhmelkin said that, as a lawyer, he could not confirm this.

    He recalled that Mr. Berezovsky had been expelled from Liberal Russia in October 2002.

    While giving evidence, Mr. Pokhmelkin also said that he had met and started to work with Mr. Yushenkov in 1993. According to him, Yushenkov met Berezovsky in fall 2001 and Mr. Pokhmelkin himself went to visit the tycoon in London in January 2002.

    "I realized there, that Berezovsky had become removed from reality and was overcome with hatred for Putin," he said. "I understood that he couldn't be believed." As far as the main suspect in the Yushenkov murder is concerned, co-chairman of Liberal Russia Mikhail Kondanev, then Mr. Pokhmelkin said that he did not know him personally and had never seen him.

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