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Alexander Yurevich Perepilichny (Russian: Александр Юрьевич Перепеличный; 15 July 1968 – 10 November 2012) was a Russian businessman and whistleblower who died, aged 43, while jogging near London in 2012, after leaving Russia in 2009.
However, the inquest into his death continues. A British cardiologist employed by the court has concluded he probably died of natural causes. He was alleged to have been killed as part of the conspiracy to cover up the theft of $230 million from the Treasury of Russia.
Perepilichny, a financier, left Moscow in 2009 to live in the UK. In 2010, Perepilichny handed over documents to Swiss prosecutors detailing the involvement of senior Russian officials in the fraud of $220 million from the Russian Treasury through Hermitage Capital Management. The case has developed worldwide media coverage through the death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.
On 10 November 2012, Perepilichny traveled back to the UK from a three-day trip to Paris. After arriving home, he went out to jog in St George's Hill, and was found dead on the road by a neighbour. A video of his corpse was widely circulated online in the aftermath of his death.
Perepilichny had no reported health issues when he collapsed. Two autopsies proved inconclusive, as did advanced toxicology tests. Two years after his death, Perepilichny's life insurance company ordered tests that detected a toxin from a Chinese flowering plant Gelsemium in his stomach; the plant is nicknamed "heartbreak grass" because its leaves trigger cardiac arrest if ingested.
Allegations of assassination
Weeks after his death, the British press reported that in 2011 Perepilichny's name had been placed on a list of targets wanted dead in connection with the Treasury theft.
Geoffrey Robertson QC, representing the company which had led the fraud investigation, stated in court that Perepilichny may have been talking to the British security services shortly before his death. He described 45 sensitive documents that had been kept secret under public interest immunity as a "cover-up."
In 2017, it was reported that U.S. intelligence officials passed MI6 intelligence indicating that Perepilichny was likely "assassinated on direct orders from Putin or people close to him.” A U.S. intelligence report to Congress asserted with "high confidence" that Perepilichny was assassinated on the orders of Russian officials.
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