Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky died by hanging: police
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Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky, whose body was found in the locked bathroom of his luxury mansion near London over the weekend, died by hanging, British police said on Monday.
An autopsy showed no signs of a violent struggle but further tests would be carried out, including toxicology and histology examinations, police said.
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 fiercest critics of Russia's new elite.
The 67-year-old Berezovsky's body was found in his sprawling property in Ascot, an affluent town a few miles (kilometres) from Queen Elizabeth's Windsor Castle, on Saturday.
His associates had hinted Berezovsky might 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.
"The results of the post-mortem examination, carried out by a Home Office pathologist, have found the cause of death is consistent with hanging," police said in a statement. "The pathologist has found nothing to indicate a violent struggle."
Results of further tests are likely to take several more weeks to announce, police said.
The apparent suicide of one of the most powerful of the so-called oligarchs marks the end of an era for many Russians, an epoch where he symbolised the cut-throat world of Russia's new form of capitalism that followed decades of communist rule.
From his self-imposed exile in London, the chosen home of many business figures and dissidents who have fallen foul of the Kremlin, he vowed to overthrow the Russian leader whom he cast as a corrupt "bandit" backed by ex-KGB spies.
Always surrounded by controversy and conspiracy theories, Berezovsky survived several assassination attempts throughout his eventful life, including a bombing that decapitated his driver.