Putin critic Nikolay Glushkov was 'killed by a Kremlin-backed hitman'
Exiled Putin critic Nikolay Glushkov who was strangled with a dog lead in his London home was ‘killed by a Kremlin-backed hitman and Scotland Yard know who it was,’ friend claims
- Nikolay Glushkov, 68, strangled at his home in New Malden, south-west London
- Inquest found he was unlawfully killed by unknown assailant who faked ‘suicide’
- Today, friend and fellow exile suggested murderer was a Kremlin-backed hitman
Nikolay Glushkov, 68, was strangled at his home in New Malden, south-west London
An exiled Russian businessman and outspoken critic of Vladimir Putin was murdered by a Kremlin-backed assassin, his friends claim.
Nikolay Glushkov, 68, was strangled at his home in New Malden, south-west London – with an inquest ruling he was unlawfully killed by an unknown assailant who put a dog lead around his neck in a crude attempt to make his death look like suicide.
Yuli Dubov, the final surviving member of a UK-based group of Putin critics, suggested detectives must know who killed his friend but had been unable to gather enough evidence for a conviction.
The 73-year-old, speaking on the fourth anniversary of the unsolved murder, told the Mirror: ‘All of the history of Nikolai’s communications with the outside world were on his laptop, his phone and his iPad.
‘They have all been seized by the police and the man who killed Nikolai was certainly on them.
‘Nikolai let his killer into his house and there is no way he would have done that without communicating with him first.’
Mr Glushkov, a father of two, was deputy director of Russian airline Aeroflot and a close friend of Putin critic Boris Berezovsky, who was found hanged at his home in Berkshire in 2013.
An inquest heard bruising and fractures on Mr Glushkov’s upper back and neck suggested he had been strangled from behind, while another break near his right knee suggested he had been struck on the shin.
Yuli Dubov (left), the final surviving member of a UK-based group of Putin critics, suggested detectives must know who killed his friend but had been unable to gather enough evidence
The police report presented to the inquest concluded ‘a neck hold had been employed to rapidly subdue Mr Glushkov which was then maintained’.
It added ‘a staged scene was set up’ and the victim had died at least 24 hours before he was discovered.
In a statement, his daughter Natalia Glushkova explained she had been unable to contact her father and went to his home with his partner Denis Trushin to investigate.
But when they arrived at the address, at around 10pm, they found him lying face down on the floor.
His watch and religious cross, which the court heard he only removed to sleep and shower, were on his bedside table.
Reading her statement to the court, Coroner Chinyere Inyama said: ‘I saw my father lying on the floor in the corridor. He was lying on his stomach. I noticed a step ladder next to his feet.
‘He had a dog leash around his neck and red blood marks on the part of his face visible to me.’
When a paramedic arrived around 40 minutes later he believed the fact that the step ladder was upright was suspicious an police were called and a murder investigation was launched.
Mr Glushkov’s New Malden home. An inquest ruled he was unlawfully killed by an unknown assailant who put a dog lead around his neck in a crude attempt to make his death look like suicide
A pathology report said: ‘There is a lack of injuries to suggest prolonged grappling or restraint with the third party, and a lack of injuries of a defensive nature to the upper limbs.
‘This would suggest the victim had been rapidly incapacitated – garroted sleeper holds are known to cause unconsciousness within seconds.’
‘I have no doubt this man died at the hands of a third party.’
Closing the short 30-minute hearing last April, Mr Inyama recorded a conclusion of unlawful killing and said the cause of death was compression of the neck.
Addressing Ms Gushkova, who attended via audio link, he added: ‘Please accept the court’s condolences.’
Hours before the inquest was held counter-terror police renewed an appeal for information into the mysterious death.
Despite contacting more than 1,800 witnesses, taking more than 420 statements, and sifting through 2,200 hours of CCTV footage as well 1,200 exhibits, detectives were unable to identify a motive or killer.
It was a week after the Novichok poisoning of the former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury.
MailOnline has contacted the Met for comment.
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