A Russian dissident was murdered in his own home and his death looked like suicide, a coroner has ruled.
Nikolai Glushkov, a close friend of late oligarch Boris Berezovsky, Mr Putin’s former rival, was found dead in the lobby of his property in New Malden, southwest London, a week after Sergei Skripal , a former Russian double agent. , and Yulia, her daughter, were poisoned with a nerve agent in Salisbury.
Glushkov, 68, a former deputy director of the national airline Aeroflot, said he was concerned about being on a Kremlin blacklist.
Paramedics who arrived at Glushkov’s home on March 12, 2018 immediately raised concerns that he had been killed due to the way suicide paraphernalia appeared to be deliberately placed around the body.
A post mortem examination concluded that he had died at the hands of a third party, due to a compression of the neck “.
The pathology report read to the court said the injuries “could be compatible with a neck grip, applied from behind, and the assailant being behind the victim.
“There is a lack of injuries to suggest a prolonged entanglement or restraint with the third party, and a lack of defensive injuries to the upper limbs.
“This would suggest that the victim was quickly incapacitated – the wedges of garrotted sleepers are known to cause unconsciousness within seconds.”
Glushkov’s daughter Natalia told the inquest that she and Denis Trushin, her father’s partner, arrived at his home around 10 p.m. after he had not been in contact for 24 hours.
She said, “I saw my father lying on the floor. I tried to find his pulse and control his breathing, but he was cold to the touch. His watch and his religious cross were on the bedside table. cross when he fell asleep or to take a shower. “
A police report said the results indicated “a staged scene had been set up to simulate a suicidal hanging case.”
Chinyere Inyama, Senior Coroner for West London, said: “According to all the documentation, all the evidence gathered, Nikolai Glushkov died of an unlawful murder.”
Yesterday’s hearing coincided with a new call for information from the police who had conducted 500 interrogations without identifying a suspect or motive.
Glushkov, a father of two, fled Russia after being accused of fraud while at Aeroflot.
In 2017, during a trial in absentia, he was sentenced to eight years in prison after being convicted of stealing £ 87million from the airline.
He was due to appear at the London Commercial Court to defend himself on March 12, the day his body was discovered.