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Foul play not ruled out in Russian tycoon’s death

WINDSOR, England — Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky was found dead on his bathroom floor with his neck bound and a similar piece of material attached to a shower rail, a police officer told a coroner’s inquest on Thursday.

Detective Inspector Mark Bissell of Thames Valley Police said there were no signs of a struggle, but that the involvement of a third party ‘‘cannot be completely eliminated, as tests remain outstanding.’’

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Investigators have not specified the nature of the ligature found around the neck of the 67-year-old oligarch.

Berezovsky, a one-time Kremlin powerbroker-turned-critic of Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, lived in self-imposed exile in Britain.

Bissell said Berezovsky was last seen alive at 9:05 p.m. on Friday. His body was found Saturday by a member of his staff at 3:20 p.m. at his mansion in Ascot, 25 miles west of London.

Police are still searching the property, and toxicology tests are being conducted on Berezovsky’s body.

Several wealthy Russians have died suddenly in Britain in recent years, most notoriously Berezovsky’s friend Alexander Litivinenko, who died in 2006 after ingesting the radioactive isotope polonium-210. Britain has accused two Kremlin-linked Russians in the killing of the former KGB agent, who had fled to Britain.

Speculation has swirled about possible foul play in Berezovsky’s death.

But friends also say he was depressed after losing a $54 million lawsuit against a former business partner, Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich.

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