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Murder of Kremlin critic in London ‘was made to look like suicide’ | UK news

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The outstanding Kremlin critic Nikolai Glushkov was strangled at his dwelling in south-west London by an unknown assailant who wrapped a canine lead round his neck in a crude try to “simulate” the looks of suicide, an inquest heard.

Glushkov’s physique was found on 12 March 2018 at his suburban dwelling in New Malden. His daughter Natalia Glushkova informed the listening to that she and Glushkov’s associate, Denis Trushin, had known as spherical that night after rising involved.

They found Glushkov mendacity face down in the hallway. A “crimson canine lead” had been double-looped round his neck. There have been “marks” and apparent indicators of bruising, the inquest heard. A small two-step ladder was discovered subsequent to his physique, in addition to a blue rope on the staircase.

A postmortem, nevertheless, discovered indicators Glushkov had been murdered. These included fractures to his larynx and hyoid bones, in addition to superficial accidents to his face. A paramedic who got here to the scene, Dominic Beil, stated he instantly known as the police as a result of he felt the scene was suspicious.

Beil stated that in suicide circumstances the ladder was usually kicked over however in this case remained upright. He stated he discovered Glushkova sobbing in the kitchen. Glushkov was dressed in a inexperienced polo shirt and tracksuit bottoms and was clearly useless, he stated.

The inquest was informed Glushkov’s assassin had ambushed him from behind and had quickly subdued his sufferer. There have been no indicators of “extended grappling”. Glushkov had taken gentle sedatives and a glass of alcohol however this had not performed a job in what a coroner dominated on Friday was an “illegal killing”.

Glushkov was a detailed good friend of the late oligarch Boris Berezovsky, who was himself discovered useless in 2013 at his ex-wife’s mansion in Berkshire. Glushkov, Berezovsky and Alexander Litvinenko – killed in 2006 with radioactive tea – have been high-profile London-based opponents of Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin. All at the moment are useless.

Every week earlier than Glushkov was murdered, two Russian intelligence officers poisoned Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury utilizing novichok, a lethal Soviet-developed nerve agent. Detectives consider Glushkov may have been the sufferer of knowledgeable murderer despatched by Moscow, however have thus far struggled to establish a suspect or suspects.

The inquest heard Metropolitan cops had recognized 537 people throughout their three-year investigation. However, thus far they haven’t pinpointed a concrete suspect. Nor have been they ready to discover a conclusive motive for Glushkov’s homicide.

Speaking on Friday, Glushkova stated the coroner had confirmed her “beloved father” was murdered. “His killer tried to stage a suicide, however the pathology proof noticed proper by means of that. Unfortunately, regardless of SO15’s three-year-long investigation, his killer has escaped justice.” SO15 is the UK police’s counter-terrorism division.

She stated she was relieved that the case had not been added to the lengthy record of Russian émigrés whose suspicious deaths have been by no means totally defined. “My father was politically persecuted for many of his life and till his final breath,” she added.

“I’m hopeful that the investigation into his homicide will proceed and, sooner or later, these accountable for his homicide will likely be introduced to justice in the UK courts.”

Speaking to the Guardian in 2019, Glushkova described the scene at her father’s dwelling as a “trashy setup of a suicide”. She stated she didn’t need to speculate on who may need killed him or why. She described him as a “charismatic and vibrant power ball” who was constructive and incapable of harming himself.