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Russian exile Nikolai Glushkov found dead in London

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A Russian businessman who was associated with a prominent critic of the Kremlin has died in London, his lawyer has said.

Key points:

  • Nikolai Glushkov was close ally of Putin critic Boris Berezovsky
  • Police treating death as unexplained, have put counter-terrorism detectives in charge of case
  • Death came as Amber Rudd announced investigation into string of Russian deaths on UK soil

Police are treating the death as unexplained and have put counter-terrorism detectives in charge of the case.

But police said there was no evidence to suggest a link to the March 4 poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter.

Attorney Andrei Borovkov told Russian media outlets his client, Nikolai Glushkov, had died, but said he was unaware of the time and circumstances.

London's Metropolitan Police force said counter-terrorism detectives were leading the investigation, "as a precaution because of associations that the man is believed to have had".

Reports in British and Russian media said Mr Glushkov, who was in his late 60s, was found dead at his home in south-west London.

Police said officers were investigating the "unexplained" death of a man found at a house in the New Malden area late on Monday (local time).

It did not release his name, saying formal identification had yet to take place

Mr Glushkov was an associate of Boris Berezovsky, a Russian oligarch and Kremlin critic who died in London in 2013. An inquest failed to determine whether he had killed himself or died from foul play.

Boris Berezovsky arrives at the High court in London

Mr Glushkov had worked for various Berezovsky enterprises, including the car factory AvtoVAZ and flagship Russian airline Aeroflot.

He was arrested in 1999 and put on trial for embezzling $US7 million from Aeroflot. In 2004, he was sentenced to three years and three months in prison, but released because of time served before and during his trial.

Russian media reported Mr Glushkov was granted political asylum in Britain in 2010.

In 2017, a Moscow court reviewed Mr Glushkov's case and sentenced him in absentia to eight years for embezzling more than $US122 million from Aeroflot.

Last year, Mr Glushkov appeared on a list published by the Russian Embassy in London of Russians wanted for serious crimes whom the UK had refused to extradite.

It said Russia had sought his extradition in 2015 "for committing a number of severe financial offences on the territory of Russia," but the British Government refused.

Mr Glushkov's death came as Britain's Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, announced 14 Russian deaths on UK soil would be reinvestigated by police and MI5.

Ms Rudd said the Government takes seriously allegations that the deaths, dating back to 2006, may have some links to Russia.

"In the weeks to come, I will want to satisfy myself that the allegations are nothing more than that," Ms Rudd said.

"The police and MI5 agree and will assist in that endeavour."

The deaths identified included those of Mr Berezovsky and Alexander Litvinenko.

Police cars drive outside Mr Glushkov's home which has a forensics tent set up outside.

AP/ABC

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