Security services ‘foil plot to kill Berezovsky
Boris Berezovskyfled Britain three weeks ago on the advice of Scotland Yard, amid reports that he was the target of an assassination attempt by a suspected Russian hitman.
The exiled tycoon and fierce critic of President Putin of Russia told The Times last night that he had been warned that it was not safe for him to remain in London, where he had been living since being granted asylum in Britain.
“I was informed by Scotland Yard that my life was in danger and they recommended that I leave the country,” he said. “I left three weeks ago but have now returned.”
Mr Berezovsky, a billionaire businessman who has an office in Mayfair and lives at a heavily guarded mansion in Surrey, never moves without a phalanx of bodyguards. He has been the subject of assassination attempts in Russia but this is the first time that he has been targeted in London.
A hitman sent to Britain to kill Boris Berezovsky was arrested by British security services as he planned the murder and then deported, it was confirmed tonight.
The gunman was spotted as he entered the country through Heathrow airport and placed on 24-hour surveillance after intelligence was received about the plot to kill the exiled Russian tycoon at the Hilton Hotel on London’s Park Lane.
Police had already warned Mr Berezovsky that it was not safe for him in this country and he had gone abroad a week before. Scotland Yard tonight confirmed that the killer had been held on June 21 and then handed over to the immigration services on June 23 after having had his visa revoked. He was then deported and told not to return to the UK for at least ten years.