Boris Berezovsky 'found with ligature around his neck'

Boris Berezovsky
Image caption Boris Berezovsky had lived in Britain since 2000

An inquest into the death of Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky has heard he was found lying on his bathroom floor with a "ligature around his neck".

Mr Berezovsky, 67, was discovered at his Berkshire home on Saturday.

A post-mortem examination found his death was consistent with hanging, but further tests are being carried out and are likely to take several weeks.

The inquest, which has been adjourned, comes after relatives of his second wife described him as "extraordinary".

Speaking at the opening of the inquest at Windsor Coroner's Court, Detective Inspector Mark Bissell, of Thames Valley Police, said Mr Berezovsky was found lying on his bathroom floor with a "ligature around his neck and a piece of similar material on the shower rail above him".

The inquest was opened and adjourned by Berkshire Coroner Peter Bedford.

Janine Prunty, the coroner's officer, confirmed Mr Berezovsky's daughter, Elizaveta Berezovskaya, formally identified the body.

And police confirmed the ambulance crew found the Russian oligarch's body on the floor at his home in Ascot, Berkshire.

The BBC's world affairs correspondent Richard Galpin said the police search of Mr Berezovsky's house will continue for a few days more and other tests are under way.

Following her father's death, Mr Berezovsky's daughter Anastasia, 19, said: "My father was not the typical parent, nothing about him was ordinary... he has taught me many things about this world.

"He has taught me to never stop fighting for what one believes in no matter what the costs may be."

Anastasia and her brother Artem are Mr Berezovsky's children with his second wife Galina Besharova.

She added: "There aren't enough words in any language that can somehow express everything that he was and everything he will continue to be. The only word that comes close is extraordinary."

'No struggle'

Early reports suggested Mr Berezovsky's body was found by an employee, who called an ambulance at 15:18 GMT on Saturday. He had not been seen since around 22:30 GMT the previous evening.

Police have said the post-mortem examination found nothing to indicate a violent struggle.

They had earlier said there was no evidence so far that a "third party" was involved.

It will be several weeks before the results of further tests, including toxicology and histology examinations, are known.

Our correspondent says some friends of Mr Berezovsky had said he was depressed after the failure of his legal battle in London with fellow Russian oligarch and Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich.

But others have insisted he was not a man who would have taken his own life, our correspondent adds.

Mr Berezovsky, an outspoken critic of the Russian President Vladimir Putin, amassed a fortune in the 1990s following the privatisation of state assets after the collapse of Soviet communism.

He survived numerous assassination attempts, including a bomb that decapitated his chauffeur.

Mr Berezovsky had been living in the UK since 2000. He was granted political asylum in 2003 on the grounds that his life would be in danger in Russia.

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