Late Russian businessman Boris Berezovsky will be buried in Gunnersbury Cemetery in London as soon as toxicology tests are completed, news reports said Tuesday, quelling speculation that he could be buried in Russia, to which he had reportedly wanted to return before his death.
A source close to Berezovsky's family told Dozhd television that his family members wanted him to be buried in London since that's where they have all lived for several years. His two eldest daughters, Liza and Yekaterina, confirmed that he will be buried in London, Interfax reported.
Berezovsky's first wife Nina Korotkova has arrived in London to arrange the funeral, Gazeta.ru reported. The date of the burial has not been announced.
The 67-year-old Russian tycoon was found dead on March 23 in a locked bathroom in his luxury mansion near London with a ligature around his neck and a piece of similar material on the shower rail above him.
The initial postmortem examination revealed a broken rib but no bruising on his body. Police have said they could not rule out foul play, though the results of several different toxicology tests would not be available for several weeks.
Berezovsky's daughter Anastasia described her father as a man of "overwhelming charm" in a tribute to him last week, The Guardian reported. She also said that "nothing about him was ordinary" and "he concerned himself most with making his children proud."
Since his death, Berezovsky's friends have said he had been depressed over losing a lawsuit against fellow tycoon Roman Abramovich in August and pined for Russia. President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said Putin had received a letter a few months ago from Berezovsky asking for forgiveness and help in returning to Russia, where he faced numerous criminal charges.
Many observers have questioned whether Berezovsky, for years a vehement Putin critic, would ever write such a letter and have demanded that the Kremlin publish it. But presidential administration head Sergei Ivanov said Tuesday that it was personal and not for public eyes.
“I haven't seen it [the letter] and haven't read it, but I know 100 percent that such a letter exists and that it was delivered to Russia by a Russian citizen a few months ago,” Ivanov told journalists, according to Interfax. “[But] personal letters, as a rule, are not published.”
In an interview with The Independent
"I think it is the last thing in his life he would do. … It's the complete opposite of everything he did in his life. It's not just not true, everything they say and do is a lie. I don't know why people take anything they say seriously," she said.
* Due to an editing error, the original version of this article stated that Berezovsky was found dead on March 25. He was actually found dead on March 23.