Russian whistleblower died of natural causes in UK: inquest
December 19 2018 07:21 PM
Detective chief superintendent John Boshier of Surrey police speaks after the coroner ruled that Rus
Detective chief superintendent John Boshier of Surrey police speaks after the coroner ruled that Russian businessman Alexander Perepilichnyy probably died of natural causes

AFP/London

A Russian millionaire who died suddenly in England after helping to expose an alleged Russian money laundering scheme died of natural causes, a long-running inquest concluded Wednesday.

Alexander Perepilichny, 44, collapsed in November 2012 while jogging up a hill near his mansion in Surrey, southwest of London.

Judge Nicholas Hilliard found that he died of natural causes, namely sudden arrhythmic death syndrome (SADS).

‘I am satisfied that Mr. Perepilichny was unlikely to have been poisoned, taking into account all the evidence that we have heard,’ he said.

‘I'm satisfied that I can properly and safely conclude that it is more likely than not he had died of natural causes, namely SADS.’

Perepilichny moved to Britain in 2009 and helped arch Kremlin critic, investor Bill Browder, document allegations that $230 million was stolen from his Hermitage Capital hedge fund by Russian officials.

The original fraud at Hermitage Capital was flagged by Moscow tax accountant and lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who specialised in solving financial crimes. He died in prison while awaiting trial in 2009.

The Magnitsky case sparked an international scandal that saw the United States and the European Union, along with some other Western governments, blacklist Russian officials and freeze their financial assets.

In English law, inquests are held to examine violent, unnatural or unexplained deaths. They set out to determine the place, time and type of death, but do not apportion blame.

Browder attended Wednesday's hearing at England's Central Criminal Court in London.

He told reporters afterwards that Russian President Vladimir Putin ‘is going to be celebrating today’.



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