Published on 26 Mar 2014

Berezovsky died skint and depressed, inquest told

Going from Russian billionaire to “the world’s poorest man,” has been put forward as the reason behind the apparent suicide of Boris Berezovsky, at the opening of the inquest into his death.

Berezovsky’s Israeli bodyguard Avi Navama told the coroner that the tycoon once told him he was £200m in debt. He said his oligarch employer became a “broken man” and went into a depression after losing a court case against the owner of Chelsea FC, Roman Abramovich.

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The inquest heard he often talked of different ways of killing himself and asked his body guard for advice on the best method.

Mr Navama discovered Berezovsky’s body on the bathroom floor of his ex-wife’s house in Ascot, Berkshire, after breaking down the locked door on 23 March last year.

Part of a black scarf was around his neck, while the other part was hanging from a shower rail.

Also on Wednesday, the Russian tycoon’s personal assistant Michael Cotlick told the inquest there had been at least one attempt on Berezovsky life since seeking asylum in the UK.

He described a secret meeting between Berezovsky and Scotland Yard regarding an assassin who had entered the country.

Mr Cotlick said the suspected killer was later extradited to Russia and found dead six months later.

Four of Berezovsky’s children are attending the inquest and have been asking the witnesses their own questions regarding the circumstances surrounding their father’s death.

Berezovsky was an outspoken critic of President Putin and fled to the UK in 2000 after surviving an assassination attempt when a bomb decapitated his chauffeur.

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