MOSCOW, December 24 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika has requested that the Investigative Committee probe the claims made in a documentary about self-exiled Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky, spokeswoman Marina Gridneva said on Monday.
“Chaika instructed that materials from the “Berezovsky” documentary, shown on December 23 by the Rossiya TV channel, be sent to the Investigative Committee for a pre-investigation check of the facts it mentions, and for a procedural decision on the issue,” the Prosecutor General’s office spokeswoman said.
The committee is looking into the allegations, its spokesman confirmed later on Monday.
The broadcast claims the tycoon might be linked to several high-profile crimes in past years, including a 2004 plot to blow up the campaign headquarters of Ukrainian presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko, the 2003 murder of State Duma lawmaker Sergei Yushenkov and the 2004 alleged kidnapping of Russian presidential candidate Ivan Rybkin.
The film’s allegations are based in part on testimony from Mikhail Kodanev, a businessman who was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2004 over Yushenkov’s murder.
Kodanev, who named Berezovsky and his ally Badri Patarkatsishvili as the organizers of that murder, is ready to cooperate with investigators and will be brought to Moscow from his prison in Mordovia for questioning, the committee spokesman said.
Kodanev, who pleaded not guilty in the courtroom, said in the film that Berezovsky promised him $3 million for his silence, but never paid.
Berezovsky was also checked for involvement in the murders of TV star Vladislav Listyev in 1995, federal lawmaker Vladimir Golovlev in 2002 and investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya in 2006, but cleared on all counts, the committee spokesman said.
Berezovsky did not comment on the allegations as of Monday evening.
(Updates with information from the Investigative Committee, details on Kodanev.)