Rausing charged with delaying burial of his wife's body

Tetra Pak heir faces obscure charge as probe into death of Eva Rausing continues

LAST UPDATED AT 08:59 ON Wed 18 Jul 2012

MORE than a week after the body of one of Britain's richest women was discovered at her Chelsea home, her husband, Tetra Pak heir Hans Kristian Rausing, has been charged with preventing the lawful and decent burial of her body.
 
It is feared that Eva Rausing may have lain dead at the couple's home for several weeks before her remains were discovered.
 
Her body was found in a bedroom during a search of their Chelsea mansion after her husband was arrested in south London on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
 
He will appear before West London Magistrates court today.
 
"The charge, a common law offence, is quite rare and theoretically carries a maximum life imprisonment, however, a Crown Prosecution Service spokesman said that due to the unique circumstances of the case Mr Rausing would likely face a much lesser sentence if he is found guilty," The Times reports.
 
The Met police refused to say if Rausing was still suspected of murder. He has been at a "medical facility" since his arrest undergoing treatment for alcohol withdrawal.
 
"A post-mortem examination on Mrs Rausing was inconclusive and police had been investigating whether the mother-of-four lay dead for several weeks," says the Times. "Mr Rausing is believed to have lived with his wife's body until he was stopped by police."

The Guardian adds that Eva's family have "paid tribute" to the 48-year-old who had apparently returned to London to try to persuade her husband to join her for drug treatment in the US.

Eva's father, the former Pepsi executive Tom Kemeny, said in a statement issued on Tuesday that helping others was a "defining endeavour" in his daughter's life. He said the family still regarded Hans Kristian as a "son" and that they plan to launch a foundation in their daughter's memory to help drug addicts. · 

For further concise, balanced comment and analysis on the week's news, try The Week magazine. Subscribe today and get 6 issues completely free.