UK calls death of Russian businessman Glushkov a homicide
LONDON (AP) — British police said today they have launched a murder investigation into the death of London-based Russian businessman Nikolai Glushkov after an autopsy revealed that he died from compression to the neck.
Counterterrorism detectives are leading the case "because of the associations Mr. Glushkov is believed to have had," the Metropolitan Police force said.
Glushkov, 68, was an associate of Boris Berezovsky, a Russian oligarch and strong Kremlin critic who died under disputed circumstances in 2013.
Glushkov was found dead at his south London home on Monday. His death came a week after former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were left critically ill from nerve agent poisoning in the city of Salisbury.
The London police force said "at this stage there is nothing to suggest any link [from Glushkov] to the attempted murders in Salisbury," and they said there was no evidence that Glushkov has been poisoned.
British authorities say the substance that poisoned the Skripals is a powerful form of a Russian-developed nerve agent known as Novichok. A British police officer who responded to the attack in Salisbury is in serious condition, and police say 131 people may have come into contact with the nerve agent.
Britain has accused the Russian government of responsibility for Skripals' poisoning and British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said it's "overwhelmingly likely" Russian President Vladimir Putin himself ordered the attack. Putin's spokesman has denounced the comment as "shocking and inexcusable."
U.K. police say "there are no wider public health concerns" around the investigation into Glushkov's death.