UK police: No evidence others involved in Putin foe's death

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LONDON -- There was no evidence to suggest anyone else was involved in the death of Boris Berezovsky, the self-exiled Russian tycoon who went from Kremlin kingmaker to fiery critic, British police said yesterday.

Berezovsky, who fled to Britain in the early 2000s after a bitter falling out with President Vladimir Putin, survived assassination attempts and recently faced financial difficulties, prompting speculation as to whether his death was part of a conspiracy, or suicide.

Some details were released on the circumstances that triggered the investigation and a subsequent check for hazardous materials at a home where he stayed in Ascot, west of London, where the body was found on Saturday.

Police said an employee of Berezovsky told of calling for an ambulance after he forced open a bathroom door locked from the inside to find the tycoon's body on the floor.

The employee was the only person in the house when the body was discovered, police said. Members of the ex-oligarch's family arrived while the paramedic was present.

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After the paramedic declared Berezovsky dead and left the scene, a device measuring the paramedic's exposure to radiation was triggered, police said. This is why chemical and radiations experts were called to examine the home, they said.

Berezovsky amassed a fortune through oil and automobiles during Russia's chaotic privatization of state assets following the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.

Once a member of President Boris Yeltsin's inner circle, Berezovsky fell out with Yeltsin's successor, Putin, and fled Britain in the early 2000s to escape fraud charges that he said were politically motivated. -- AP

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