In Brief

Why Skripal detectives are examining ‘suicide’ of Scot Young

Investigators says Russian military intelligence officers visited UK around time of British tycoon’s death

Detectives who led the investigation into the attempted murder of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal are reportedly set to re-examine the suspicious deaths of a series of people with links to Russia, including British tycoon Scot Young. 

Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism command has gathered evidence that shows Russian military intelligence agents “travelled in and out of Britain around the time” that Young, 52, was found impaled on railings beneath his central London flat in December 2014, according to The Sunday Times.

Russian officers are also believed to have been in the UK when Russian whistle-blower Alexander Perepilichnyy died in a suspected poisoning in Surrey. The 44-year-old businessman - who had asked the founder of investment fund Hermitage Capital to help expose fraud involving Russian tax officials - collapsed while jogging near his home in Weybridge shortly after eating sorrel soup that may have been tainted, the Daily Mail reports.

In a further twist, forensic investigators working for Young’s ex-wife revealed that the property developer had a troubling financial relationship with exiled Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky, who was found hanged in his ex-wife’s Ascot manion in March 2013, The Mail on Sunday reported last year.

A new police investigation into the deaths of Young and Perepilichnyy would mark a major U-turn. Officers initially concluded that Perepilichnyy died from natural causes and that Young committed suicide, despite claims of murder from their family and friends.

Last week, Young’s ex, Michelle, said: “I always said he was murdered... The police did not protect the crime scene from contamination immediately after Scot’s death. The investigation never got off the ground and was swiftly closed down.”

Young and Perepilichnyy  “are among a group of at least 14 men who deaths have been publicly linked to the Russian state, though investigations have concluded that they all died either from suicide or natural causes”, says The Daily Telegraph. The newspaper says there are now calls for police to look at all the cases again in light of the new information about Russian intelligence agents coming to the UK.

Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned with nerve agent novichok in Wiltshire in March. Three other people were also exposed to the nerve agent, including 44-year-old Dawn Sturgess, who died.

The Crown Prosecution Service has charged two Russian nationals, who go by the names Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, with attempted murder. Russia denies sending agents to target Skripal.

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