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Russian Businessman Perepilichny Likely Died Of Natural Causes, U.K. Inquest Finds

By RFE/RL December 19, 2018

A Russian businessman who was found dead in southern England six years ago likely died of natural causes, a British inquest has found.

Aleksandr Perepilichny collapsed while out jogging near his home south of London in November 2012, and there has been speculation that he might have been murdered.

"I am satisfied on the evidence I have heard I can properly and safely conclude that it was more likely than not that he died of natural causes, namely sudden arrhythmic death syndrome," Nicholas Hilliard, who led the inquest into Perepilichny's death, said on December 19.

"There really is no direct evidence that he was unlawfully killed," Hilliard added.

Perepilichny, a Russian tycoon and Kremlin critic who sought refuge in Britain in 2009, had been helping a Swiss investigation into a massive Russian money-laundering scheme. He also provided evidence against Russian officials linked to the 2009 death of anticorruption lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in a Moscow prison.

Hilliard also said that London police contacted him this month to confirm they were not conducting an investigation into Perepilichny's death and that there was no evidence of "any hostile state actor" being involved.

In September, Hilliard ruled that material about possible links between Perepilichny and British spy agencies would remain secret.

He said the material was "marginal" to resolving the question of how the businessman died and that releasing documents from British spy agencies MI5 and MI6 relating to Perepilichny could harm national security.

The British government earlier said police had completed a review of the Perepilichny case and 13 other deaths linked to Russia following the poisoning of Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the English city of Salisbury in March.

It concluded there was no need to reopen any investigation.

Britain blames the Russian government for the poisoning of the Skripals with the nerve agent Novichok. Moscow denies any involvement.

With reporting by Reuters

Source: https://www.rferl.org/a/russian-businessman- perepilichny-likely-died-of-natural-causes -u-k-inquest-finds/29665636.html

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.



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