World No plant toxins found in body of dead Russian whistleblower

04:55  11 april  2018
04:55  11 april  2018 Source:   eNCA

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Despite warnings that the Kremlin wanted the 44-year-old whistleblower dead , British detectives eventually concluded that Perepilichnyy’s death The coroner halted the inquest and ordered further tests to determine whether the plant ’s poisonous properties had spread through the Russian ’s body .

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Alexander Perepilichny died near the British capital in 2012 and, two years later, his life insurance company ordered tests that detected a toxin in his stomach from a Chinese plant called Gelsemium, which can trigger cardiac arrest.

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The Russian had ingested gelsemium – a very rare toxic plant found only in China , a coroner heard. The whistleblower claimed he had been involved in laundering that money and told friends he had received threats shortly before his death .

Despite warnings that the Kremlin wanted the 44-year-old whistleblower dead , British detectives eventually concluded that Perepilichnyy’s death The coroner halted the inquest and ordered further tests to determine whether the plant ’s poisonous properties had spread through the Russian ’s body .

But during an inquest examining the cause of Perepilichny's death, a leading botanist cast doubt on the theory he had been poisoned.

Monique Symmonds, from the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, told the Old Bailey court that she had not been able to identify any plant toxins, the BBC and Financial Times reported.

Perepilichny, a wealthy businessman, had been helping investment firm Hermitage Capital Management investigate a money-laundering operation when he was found dead near his home in Weybridge, outside London.

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An inquest has resumed into the death of a Russian whistleblower , who was found dead in Surrey in 2012. No plant toxins were found in a Russian businessman who it was claimed may have been poisoned, a coroner has heard.

Botanists at Kew Gardens identified the presence of an unknown chemical compound with a potential link to a toxic plant in the stomach of dead Russian whistleblower , Alexander However, further tests of the compound found in Perepilichny could not definitively identify it as gelsemium.

His lawyer at the time, Dmitry Lipkin, told the court his client "did not come to Russia because he was fearful for his life".

"He was threatened. He left Russia but who he was threatened by, I don't know," he told the court via video-link from Moscow.

The case has come under increased scrutiny following last month's nerve agent attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the English city of Salisbury.

Britain has blamed Russia for the attack, a charge vehemently denied by Moscow.

Following the Skripal poisoning, MPs have called on the government to re-examine 14 unexplained deaths on British soil in recent years, including that of Perepilichny, a Russian oligarch and a British spy found in a bag.

Lipkin said he had been working with Perepilichny on some debts that he owed in Russia.

"Alexander asked us to deal with a few matters, mostly those matters were concerning his debts," Lipkin said.

Asked if any of the debts were too organised crime figures, Lipkin replied: "I'm not aware of that".

The inquest is expected to last four days, with a verdict not expected immediately.

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