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Counter-terror police launch murder investigation after confirming Russian exile Nikolay Glushkov strangled

The Telegraph logo The Telegraph 16/03/2018 By Martin Evans, Crime Correspondent and Hayley Dixon

Watch: Russian Exile Found Dead In London Home (Provided by Wochit)

A Russian exile, found dead at his home in south London earlier this week, was murdered, Scotland Yard has said.

Businessman, Nikolay Glushkov, 68, who was a vocal opponent of the Russian leader Vladimir Putin, died as a result of strangulation, according to a post mortem.

Mr Glushkov’s body was found at his home in Clarence Avenue, New Malden on Monday.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "The Met Police’s Counter Terrorism Command, which has led the investigation from the outset, is now treating Mr Glushkov’s death as murder.

"As a precaution, the command is retaining primacy for the investigation because of the associations Mr Glushkov is believed to have had."

He was the right-hand man of the deceased oligarch Boris Berezovsky, Mr Putin’s one-time fiercest rival.

Nikolay Glushkov © press association Nikolay Glushkov His death came just over a week after Russian spy Sergei Skripal was poisoned by a nerve agent in Salisbury.

The Scotland Yard spokesman said: "Mr Glushkov, a retired financial director, was a Russian national who had lived at that address for two years. At this stage there is nothing to suggest any link to the attempted murders in Salisbury, nor any evidence that he was poisoned." 

A spokesperson for Mr Glushkov's family said they are "very grateful for the messages of sympathy received. A special thank you goes out to the Metropolitan Police and the emergency services for their rapid response and assistance.

"The family will not be making or releasing any public statements at this stage in the investigation into Mr Glushkov’s death."

Andrei Borovkov, Mr Glushkov's Russian lawyer, who was the first to release news of his client's death earlier this week, said he was shocked to hear it was now being treated as a murder investigation.

Nikolay Glushkov was the right-hand man of the deceased oligarch Boris Berezovsky, Mr Putin’s one-time fiercest rival. © press association Nikolay Glushkov was the right-hand man of the deceased oligarch Boris Berezovsky, Mr Putin’s one-time fiercest rival. Speaking from his office in Moscow, he said: "For me it is a big surprise because I don't understand why anyone would kill him or for what motive.

"We last spoke in December, just before new year we phoned each other to wish one another happy New Year. He didn't seem to me to be worried or afraid about anything. Nothing of the sort. He was calm, cheerful."

The Russian Embassy told the Telegraph that it had not yet been informed of the criminal investigation. 

12 uk deaths with suspected Russian involvement

Mr Glushkov, the former boss of the state airline Aeroflot, had told friends he feared he was on a Kremlin hit-list .

A former bodyguard, who worked for Mr Berezovsky, said he knew Mr Glushkov was extremely nervous about his own safety and feared he would be targeted by the Russian state.

Mr Berezovsky was found hanged in the bathroom of his Surrey home in 2013, with the cause of death being put down to suicide.

Another of their close associates, Badri Patarkatsishvili, 52, died at his Surrey home in 2008, following an apparent heart attack.

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