Prosecutors seek UK’s help in probe into mysterious death of late Russian oligarch’s ally

The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office has requested legal assistance from British agencies in the investigation of the violent death of Nikolay Glushkov, a convicted criminal and a close associate of oligarch Boris Beresovsky.

In accordance with the 1959 European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, we have forwarded a request for legal assistance in an investigation launched into the murder of Nikolay Glushkov in Great Britain,” read a statement posted on the website of the Russian embassy in the United Kingdom.

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A police officer stands on duty outside the home of Nikolai Glushkov in New Malden, on the outskirts of London, Britain, March 17, 2018. © Simon Dawson

The Russian diplomats added in their message that, so far, all attempts to secure cooperation from British agencies in the investigation of Glushkov’s death have failed. Russian authorities have not received comprehensive answers to their questions from Scotland Yard or the Foreign Office.

The diplomats noted that the British side is investigating the case in complete secrecy and refuses to contact with Moscow, which is a violation of generally accepted norms in international conventions.

Nikolay Glushkov died at his home in London on March 13 at the age of 68. British police said that they are treating the death as “unexplained,” adding that a counter-terrorism department is investigating the incident because of the “associations” of the deceased man. In later statements, police described the cause of death as “compression to the neck” and said that it was being investigated as a murder.

The Russian Investigative Committee (the federal agency that deals with serious crime) has started its own probe into Glushkov’s death.

Glushkov was one of the closest allies of Boris Berezovsky, a former Russian oligarch and Kremlin insider who has turned into Vladimir Putin’s arch-enemy and moved to Britain, where he received political asylum. In 1996, Glushkov became deputy director of the state-run airline company Aeroflot, and in 2000 he was convicted of abuse of office that led to the embezzlement of about $ 250 million and sentenced to three years in prison. After his release, Glushkov also moved to the UK, where he received a political asylum.

Boris Berezovsky died in London in March 2013. The police initially recognized his death as suicide by hanging, but later a coroner passed an open verdict on the issue because a lot of circumstances in the case remained unclear.

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