Berezovsky's heirs to be held liable for his debts
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MOSCOW, March 25 - RAPSI. The heirs of self-exiled oligarch Boris Berezovsky, who died in London, will be held liable for his debts to Russia if his property and assets are transferred to them.
The Prosecutor General's Office said on Monday that it will continue actions aimed at returning the assets that were illegally earned by the businessman and his colleagues and laundered outside Russia, as the Constitution implies the possibility of confiscating property for organizing or participating in a criminal association.
"I see no hindrances for further civil legal prosecution. A debtor's death is not a circumstance that hinders debt repayment," lawyer Dmitry Agranovsky said.
Agranovsky cited Article 1075 of the Civil Code, which envisages an heir's liability for his antecessor's debts.
"The article states that heirs are liable for their antecessor's debts," he said. "The liability occurs only to the extent of the property inherited - that is, if Berezovsky's heirs receive assets or property, material claims can then be made and efforts can be made to return them. As for the heirs personal property, it cannot be apprehended."
Russian law-enforcers maintained hope to make Berezovsky pay over RUB 60 billion ($2 billion), which he allegedly embezzled from AvtoVAZ, Russias largest car manufacturer. In June 2009, a court handed down a 13-year sentence to Berezovsky and Yuly Dubov, who has also found refuge in the UK. Berezovsky has been granted political asylum in the UK. The Russian authorities have repeatedly requested his extradition, but Britain has not acceded to their request.
Berezovsky was well known for his criticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin and there was some, yet unsupported by evidence, speculation that he may have been murdered. Some of his friends, however, believe he was suffering from severe depression after the recent court ruling against him in his $5.5 billion lawsuit with Roman Abramovich, and that he may have committed suicide.