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Queen’s cousin gifted cash from Russian oligarch

LONDON (AP) – A lawyer for an exiled Russian oligarch has disclosed that his client gave financial assistance to a cousin of Queen Elizabeth II over several years.

Lawyer Mark Hastings said in a statement that Boris Berezovsky is a longstanding friend of the prince and never sought or obtained any benefit from the friendship. The prince’s spokesman, Simon Astaire, stressed that the payments were “conducted properly” and that all relevant tax was paid.

The statement was issued after The Sunday Times reported that the Russian tycoon sent Prince Michael a total of 320,000 pounds (US$514,320) through offshore companies from 2002 to 2008.

According to Buckingham Palace, Prince Michael is not in the line of succession to the throne and receives no public money.

Berezovsky, a critic of President Vladimir Putin, has lived in Britain since 2003.

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