The Russian oligarch and fierce Kremlin critic Boris Berezovsky was last night found dead in his Berkshire home at the age of 67.
The circumstances of his death were unclear, although there were unconfirmed claims that the former power-broker of Russian politics had killed himself.
Berezovsky's death comes only months after he lost a high-profile and personally disastrous court case against fellow Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich. He had accused the Chelsea football club owner of blackmail, breach of trust and breach of contract in relation to a Russian oil company. After the claims were dismissed, he was ordered by the high court to pay £35m of Abramovich's legal costs.
His financial difficulties were recently further exacerbated after his former mistress Elena Gorbunova, 43, claimed that Berezovsky owed her $8m (£5m) in compensation over the sale of their $40m residence in Surrey.
News of Berezovsky's death emerged on a Facebook post yesterday that appeared to have been made by his son-in-law, Egor Schuppe. According to the post, Berezovsky was recently depressed and had failed to keep in touch with friends, often choosing to stay at home rather than socialise.