Mystery of Tycoon Boris Berezovsky's Death Deepens as British Plan Autopsy

Did Scandal-Shrouded Jewish Oligarch Commit Suicide?

getty images

By Reuters

Published March 25, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

British police removed the body of exiled Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky from his mansion near London on Monday before conducting an autopsy that could shed some light on his sudden unexplained death.

Once known as the grey cardinal of Kremlin politics, the former billionaire power broker helped Vladimir Putin come to power before fleeing in 2000 for Britain where he became one of the Russian government’s fiercest critics.

The 67-year-old Berezovsky’s body was found in the locked bathroom of his sprawling property west of London on Saturday. Police say it remains unclear how he had died.

Some of his associates have hinted Berezovsky may have killed himself because he had been severely depressed after losing a bruising $6 billion court battle last year against another Russian tycoon, Roman Abramovich.

On Monday, police carried out a forensic investigation at Berezovsky’s house in Ascot, an affluent town a few miles from Queen Elizabeth’s Windsor Castle. A post-mortem started at 1300 GMT.

“(Police) are carrying out further forensic examinations at the property and these are expected to last several days,” local police said in a statement. “We will not speculate on the cause of death until the post-mortem examination has been carried out.”

Earlier, detectives searched Berezovsky’s house for traces of radiation and chemicals but found none, and said there was no evidence anyone else was involved in his death.

One of the most powerful among Russia’s so-called oligarchs, Berezovsky was once known as the “godfather of the Kremlin” and exerted immense power in politics and business during a turbulent decade that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Always surrounded by controversy and conspiracy theories, Berezovsky survived several assassination attempts, including a bombing that decapitated his driver.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.