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Moscow Court Issues New Arrest Warrant for Berezovsky

A Moscow court has issued a new arrest warrant for a London-based Russian billionaire at the center of a diplomatic dispute between Russia and Britain.

The court issued the warrant for exile Boris Berezovsky Tuesday on charges that he embezzled $13 million from a Russian bank (SBS-Agro Bank) to buy a villa in southern France.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Berezovsky denied any involvement in the bank's operations and said he does not care how many arrest warrants Moscow issues.

The tycoon fled Russia in 2000 and was granted political asylum in Britain, which has repeatedly refused Russian requests to extradite him.

Russian officials accuse London of providing Berezovsky with a safe haven from which to attack the Putin government.

Berezovsky's supporters claim the Kremlin ordered criminal charges against the tycoon in retaliation for his support for opposition candidates.

Separately, a Russian court is currently trying Berezovsky in absentia on charges of embezzling millions of dollars from Russian carrier Aeroflot in the 1990s.

A Berezovsky lawyer, Semyon Aria, says he expects Russian authorities to announce a series of new accusations against the tycoon in the near future.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.