Berezovsky’s body was found in the bathroom of his home near london on saturday morning, according to media reports. One family member spoke of a possible suicide, according to russian reports. Lord tim bell, a close friend of beresowski, confirmed the death news on saturday.
The thames valley police only announced that a 67-year-old man had been found dead in his apartment in ascot. The circumstances are unclear. The area around the house was widely cordoned off.
In 2000, the year putin came to power, berezovsky went into exile in great britain, where he was granted political asylum shortly afterwards. Since then, he had provided massive financial support to the russian opposition from abroad.
However, the media had recently written about berezovsky’s serious financial problems. Among other things, he is said to have offered several works from his large art collection for sale. A work by andy warhol, which was attributed to berezovsky, was sold last week at christie’s auction house for 133,000 british pounds.
Last year berezovsky lost a spectacular trial in london against his compatriot, the oligarch roman abramovich. Berezovsky had demanded the equivalent of more than 3.5 billion euros because abramovich is alleged to have persuaded him to sell oil shares below cost in a hurry. In the end, berezovsky came away empty-handed and still had to pay substantial legal fees. According to the magazine "the lawyer," the bill for legal and court costs totaled more than 100 million pounds.
Berezovsky had earned billions in russia after the collapse of the soviet union, among other things by importing western cars. During boris yeltsin’s term of office, he was considered a gray eminence in the kremlin, but was already in the sights of the judiciary at that time, among other things because of business dealings in chechnya. In his own words, he helped the new president, vladimir putin, into office, but fell out with him a short time later in a dispute over the political orientation of a television station.
Berezovsky was also a close confidant of ex-spy alexander litvinenko, who was poisoned with radioactive polonium in london. After his relocation, russia accused him of numerous economic crimes and demanded that great britain extradite him for years. Among other things, several of beresowski’s yachts were seized.
The government in london had always refused to extradite him. British-russian relations have also been severely disrupted because of berezovsky, who has repeatedly claimed that his life is being threatened. Just a week ago, the foreign and defense ministers of both countries met in london.