Coroner concludes that Alexander Perepilichnyy likely died of natural causes

Peter Skelton QC and Rob Wastell acted as Counsel to the Coroner in this high profile inquest into the death of Russian millionaire, Alexander Perepilichnyy, which concluded on 19th December 2018. Amid suggestions of seafood poisoning, assassination or a sudden cardiac arrhythmia, the Coroner His Honour Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC has found that the millionaire likely died from Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS).

The inquest opened in 2014 and, following a number of interlocutory hearings including two public interest immunity applications, and complex cross-border investigations, this case in which the family, Surrey Police, Legal and General and Hermitage Capital Management are Interested Persons was heard at the Old Bailey in June 2017 and April 2018 with final submissions in September and October 2018.

Perepilichnyy, 44, died after collapsing near his home in Surrey on 10th November 2012 following a lunch with his wife that day. Richard Travers, Coroner for the County of Surrey, stepped down as coroner after a High Court order upheld a government application to prevent the disclosure of secret documents to him. He was succeeded by the Recorder of London, His Honour Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC.

Mr Perepilichnyy was reportedly helping Hermitage Capital Management and the Swiss authorities to identify the perpetrators of an alleged $230 million Russian fraud. Although the businessman’s death was originally attributed to natural causes by Surrey Police, the inquest heard claims that he may have been poisoned and that there were individuals with motive to kill him.

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