British police said a post-mortem investigation has found that Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky died by hanging.
The 67-year-old was found dead in the locked bathroom of his home in Surrey on March 23.
A one-time ally of Vladimir Putin, who aided the Russian President’s rise to power, he later became a staunch opponent and fled to the UK in 2000.
He was granted political asylum in 2003 on the grounds that he was in danger in Russia.
In exile he often feared for his life, especially after his friend and former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko, was poisoned and killed with plutonium 210 in 2006.
Police, who removed Berezovsky’s body from his luxury mansion in Ascot to conduct an autopsy, said there were no signs of a violent struggle – although other tests, including toxicology and histology examinations would be carried out.
Early in the investigation there had been speculation that Berezovsky’s feud with the Kremlin might have created a motive for killing him, but former deputy prime minister and opposition leader Boris Nemsov said he had not been politically active for some time.
“Berezovsky did not play any political role in recent years. It’s completely false to say that he influenced certain events.
“No-one from the opposition had any contact with him. We had an internal agreement that we wouldn’t deal with him. He brought Putin to power, he gave money to Putin, he helped him with his immense media resources.”
Some of Berezovsky’s associates hinted he may have killed himself after losing much of his money in court cases which left him struggling to pay his debts.
He lost more than 100 million euros in a 2011 divorce settlement and last year he lost a £3bn (3.5bn euro) claim against Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich.