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March 25, 2013
Death of Putin Critic ‘Unexplained’
NEW YORK (JTA) — London forensics experts found no poisons to explain the mysterious death of Boris Berezovsky, a Jewish oligarch and Kremlin critic.
Russia’s Channel One reported that the 67-year-old Berezovsky’s body was found Saturday in the bathroom of his home in the London area, and that he had suffered a heart attack last week. But Thames Valley police said his death was being treated as “unexplained,” the Guardian reported.
“Officers found nothing of concern in the property and we are now progressing the investigation as normal,” said a statement from police about tests for poisons, biological or chemical.
Berezovsky, once the richest man in Russia, fled to Britain about 10 years ago following a falling-out with Russian President Vladimir Putin amid fraud charges that Berezovsky said were politically motivated. The Moscow native, the son of a Jewish father and a mother with Jewish roots, immigrated to Israel in 1993 but later renounced his Israeli passport, according to the Israeli news website Walla.
Berezovsky became a strident and frequent critic of Putin, accusing the leader of ushering in a dictatorship.
He accumulated his wealth in the years following the collapse of Soviet Russia by acquiring local firms, including oil companies and television stations, rising to prominence during the term of Boris Yeltsin in the 1990s. Russian media reported recently that Berezovsky had suffered heavy financial losses.