A Russian whistleblower who collapsed and died outside his home in Surrey after warning of death threats from the Kremlin had traces of a rare plant poison in his stomach, a pre-inquest hearing has heard.
An expert in plant toxicology found traces linked to an extremely poisonous species of gelsemium in the stomach of Alexander Perepilichnyy, the hearing heard, potentially contradicting police assurances that his death in 2012 was not suspicious. He died aged 44, having previously been healthy.
Alexander Perepilichnyy Photograph: PR
In a case with strong echoes of the suspected murder in London of another exiled Russian, Alexander Litvinenko, Perepilichnyy had repeatedly warned his life was at risk from forces linked to the Kremlin after he provided details of alleged fraud involving Russian tax officials in which about $230m (£147m) was stolen.