Georgian Exile Died of Natural Causes: Police

Opposition billionaire had feared government was trying to kill him
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 14, 2008 10:33 AM CST
Georgian Exile Died of Natural Causes: Police
Georgian billionaire Badri Patarkatsishvili, right, seen with Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky, left, at his home in Tbilisi, Georgia, in this July, 2005 file photo. Badri Patarkatsishvili, a Georgian opposition figure and billionaire businessman who was accused of plotting to overthrow the ex-Soviet...   (Associated Press)

Tests on a billionaire Georgian opposition leader found dead yesterday in his London-area home show he died of natural causes, the Telegraph reports. Badri Patarkatsishvili, 52, said in December he had been the target of two assassination attempts, and his death surprised acquaintances, who said he was in good health, and raised suspicions of foul play. 

The former presidential candidate had said he would not return to his native Georgia because "I haven't decided to die yet." Patarkatsishvili, worth an estimated $11 billion, was a business associate and friend of Boris Berezovsky, the exiled Russian oligarch at the center of the Alexander Litvinenko affair. Police are understood to have tested for radioactivity at Patarkatsishvili's home, but found no evidence. (Read more Badri Patarkatsishvili stories.)

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