Alexander Perepilichny

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Alexander Yurevich Perepilichny (Russian: Александр Юрьевич Перепеличный; 15 July 1968 – 10 November 2012[1]) was a Russian businessman and whistleblower who died, aged 43, while jogging near London in 2012, after leaving Russia in 2009.[2]

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 (ru).[3]


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.[4]


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.[5] A video of his corpse was widely circulated online in the aftermath of his death.[6]

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.[3][7]

Fiona Barton, the lawyer for Surrey Police, has continued to maintain that "No identifiable toxin was found and that remains the case", she said.[8]

Allegations of assassination[edit]

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.[9]

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."[10]

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.[11]


  1. ^ Морозов, Валерий (16 January 2013). "Русская матрешка в Лондоне или Кто вы, доктор Перепеличный?". Эхо Москвы (in Russian). Retrieved 19 September 2016. 
  2. ^ Harding, Luke; Walker, Shaun (19 May 2015). "'Poisoned' Russian whistleblower was fatalistic over death threats". The Guardian. London, UK. Retrieved 4 May 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Harding, Luke; Townsend, Mark (3 May 2016). "Russian embezzlers went on $30m spending spree in UK, MPs told". The Guardian. London, UK. Retrieved 4 May 2016. 
  4. ^ MacIntyre, Darragh (27 April 2013). "Is Russian crime arriving on UK shores?". BBC News. Retrieved 28 April 2013. 
  5. ^ "Mystery over Russian man's death". BBC News. 2012-11-28. Retrieved 2018-03-15. 
  6. ^ Townsend, Mark (17 March 2013). "Are Russian killers on the streets of Britain?". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 11 May 2013. 
  7. ^ "Alexander Perepilichny: Rare Chinese poison found in stomach of Russian whistleblower". ABC Online. Agence France-Presse. 19 May 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2018. 
  8. ^ Holden, Michael. "Was Russian whistleblower murdered in UK with poisoned soup?". Retrieved 9 March 2018. 
  9. ^ Taylor, Jerome (29 November 2012). "Russian whistleblower Alexander Perepilichnyy was warned his name was on gang hit list". The Independent. London. Retrieved 28 April 2013. 
  10. ^ "Alexander Perepilichnyy death: Russian may have talked to UK spies". BBC News. London. 13 January 2016. Retrieved 9 March 2018. 
  11. ^ "Poison in the System". London: Buzzfeed News. 12 June 2017. Retrieved 9 March 2018.