Boris Berezovsky died by hanging, according to British police, who cited a coroner’s report. The Russian tycoon’s body was discovered in the locked bathroom of his luxury mansion near London.
An autopsy showed no signs of a struggle, though further tests will still be carried out. Histology and toxicology examinations are expected.
Berezovsky was once called the grey cardinal of Kremlin politics. He helped President Vladimir Putin come into power, though he fled to Britain in 2000 and became one of Putin’s fiercest critics.
The 67-year-old politician’s body was discovered on Saturday at his mansion in Ascot. His death may have been a surprise to the public, but his friends and associates hinted that he had been depressed.
They added that Berezovsky may have committed suicide because of depression over losing a $6 billion court battle last year against Roman Abramovich — another Russian tycoon.
Police released a statement about Boris Berezovsky’s death, saying, “The results of the post-mortem examination, carried out by a Home Office pathologist, have found the cause of death is consistent with hanging.”
Boris Berezovsky’s apparent suicide marks the end of an era for many Russians. To them, he symbolized part of Russia’s new form of capitalism that followed decades of communist rule. He made a statement from his support of Putin to his self-imposed exile in London. The move was similar to many business figures and dissidents who fell out of favor with the Kremlin.
From his mansion near London, Berezovsky vowed to overthrow Putin, whom he often cast as a corrupt politician backed by ex-KGB spies. Before the coroner ruled Brezovsky’s death a hanging, speculation ran rampant. Some thought his death to be a heart attack, while others suggested suicide.
A close family friend of the Russian tycoon stated that he was found dead by a bodyguard. The bodyguard was a former member of the Israeli Mossad spy agency, as was customer for Berezovsky’s guards. The home where he died was owned by his ex-wife, though the tycoon was staying there because few people knew how to reach him there.
Boris Berezovski survived several assassination attempts throughout his life, including a bombing that decapitated his driver. He also held on to several conspiracy theories and wrote his will out several different times.