UK insurance giant Legal & General is among the interested parties in an inquest into the death of an alleged Russian whistleblower.
The firm was used by Alex Perepilichny, who died in 2012 aged just 44, to insure his life for “millions of pounds” – but now the inquest into his death has been delayed until next year after legal wrangling surrounding confidential documents that the UK Government wishes to keep under wraps.
According to a Financial Times
report, Perepilichny died while jogging near his home in Weybridge having been helping Hermitage Capital to investigate an alleged multimillion-dollar Russian money laundering operation.
His death fell under the spotlight after it came to light that his stomach contained a chemical compound that is typically used in a poisonous plant known as heartbreak glass.
Now, however, the inquest into his passing has been delayed which Richard Travers, the coroner, described as “enormously frustrating” after the Government chose to adjourn the inquest to seek public interest immunity for the sensitive documents. Known as PII status, this is sought when it is deemed that the disclosure of documents could be a threat to national security.
According to the report, Cecily White, a barrister representing the family, noted that the delay was “extremely distressing” for Perepilichny’s widow.
Parallels have also been drawn between his death and that of Alexander Litvinenko, the former Russian spy.
For now, the question remains as to whether or not Perepilichny was killed. The inquest will begin on March 13 next year, with Legal & General sure to be keen to hear the outcome.
Back in May we reported that Legal and General’s QC, Bob Moxon Browne pointed the finger of suspicion at a Russian lawyer, Andrei Pavvlov, who allegedly fled the UK the day after Perepilichnyy’s death. The Telegraph
reported that Perepilichnyy had documents that he claimed showed how senior Moscow tax authorities had benefitted from a Russian organized crime gang that had perpetrated a £155 million fraud.
Perepilichny’s body was found eight days after his policy became active.
Legal & General claim Russian was assassinated using rare poison