Nevzlin links Kremlin to ex-spy's death

Jewish Russian-born oil tycoon says he will assist UK in investigation.

leonid nevzlin 224 (photo credit: [file])
leonid nevzlin 224
(photo credit: [file])
Jewish Russian-born oil tycoon Leonid Nevzlin expressed his "deepest condolences" Friday to the family of Alexander Litvinenko, the ex-Russian spy who died of an apparent poisoning at a London hospital, and seemed to implicate the Kremlin in his death. "I knew the deceased personally," said Nevzlin. "Alexander had information on crimes committed with the Russian government's direct participation," he continued. "He only recently gave me and my attorneys documents that shed light on the most significant aspects of the Yukos affair."
  • Poisoned Russian implicates Putin in pre-death statement Nevzlin went on to say that he believed it was his duty to assist in the comprehensive investigation into the circumstances of Litvinenko's death, adding, "I am passing these documents on to the investigative authorities of Great Britain." Nevzlin is wanted in Russia on charges of having committed serious crimes such as arranging murders and committing acts of fraud and tax evasion. Nevzlin was a former head of the giant oil company Yukos, which was established in 1993 after the fall of communism and was responsible for 20 percent of Russia's oil output. In 2004, the government charged the company with tax evasion. Its executives were either arrested, or, like Nevzlin, fled the country, several of them to Israel. In March, a spokesman for Nevzlin accused the Russian state prosecution of using 'KGB methods' to politically persecute him by feeding official Russian government documents to an Israeli journalist, who is trying to have the multi-millionaire expelled from Israel and stripped of his Israeli citizenship. "The Russian state prosecution, which is the executive arm of [President Vladimir] Putin, uses KGB methods by handing over documents to the private citizen Nudelman instead of working with the [Israeli] Ministry of Justice and other official government bodies as would be expected," Nevzlin's spokesman Amir Dan then told The Jerusalem Post. "This underlines the fact that we are dealing here with political persecution and not a genuine judicial case."