Keep up with the news by installing RT’s extension for . Never miss a story with this clean and simple app that delivers the latest headlines to you.

 

‘Depressed’ ex-oligarch Berezovsky became ‘shell of a man’ in months before suicide

Published time: March 26, 2014 18:16
Edited time: March 26, 2014 19:19
Boris Berezovsky (R) arrives at the High Court in central London, on March 10, 2010 with bodyguard Avi Navama. (AFP Photo / Carl Court)

Boris Berezovsky (R) arrives at the High Court in central London, on March 10, 2010 with bodyguard Avi Navama. (AFP Photo / Carl Court)

The bodyguard of Russian tycoon-in-exile Boris Berezovsky told a coroner’s inquest of the harrowing months and hours that preceded his suicide a year ago.

"He talked with me about [suicide] all the time, and not only with me but with a lot of people. On one occasion he stood with a steak knife in his hand, asking: "Where should I cut?" Avi Navama, Berezovsky’s bodyguard for six years, told the inquest in Windsor.

Navama last saw Berezovsky, 67, the night before his death on March 23, 2013.

"He looked at me with very low, tired eyes. Like he doesn't know what to do,"
said Navama, who received a text thanking him for his work the same evening, something he found “strange.”

On the day of his employer's death, Navama got no answer when calling him, and decided to visit Berezovsky’s ex-wife’s mansion in Ascot in Berkshire, where he had been staying.

After finding an abandoned smartphone, which was still running multiple apps, Navama said he broke into the locked bathroom, to find Berezovsky “on his back.”

Roman Abramovich (2nd R) leaves a division of the High Court during a recess, in central London October 3, 2011. (Reuters / Luke MacGregor)
"He looked purple. I checked to see if there was any kind of pulse. I put my ear next to his mouth and was looking at his chest. I couldn't find a pulse," said Navama, a former Israeli Defense Forces commando.

Police declared that Berezovsky’s death was "consistent with hanging.” Several of those close to him claimed that his death was staged by his enemies, whether business partners or the Kremlin, but no evidence has emerged to back this up.

Navama said the "the trigger of the change" in his employer’s behavior was the high-risk lawsuit for £3 billion he launched against former protégé Roman Abramovich, over the handshake-sealed split of their Russian oil assets before Berezovsky fled the country in 2000.

The court ruled in Abramovich’s favor in 2012, leaving Berezovsky with a legal bill of £100 million. The Judge characterized Berezovsky as an “unreliable” and “deluded” witness.

After the judgment, the transformation in Berezovsky was immediate.

A picture shows part of the house of Boris Berezovsky in Sunningdale, Berkshire, southwest of London, on March 24, 2013. (AFP Photo / Leon Neal)
"The Mr Berezovsky I knew was a dynamic, larger-than-life personality who became someone who withdrew into himself and became a shell of the man I once knew. Before the verdict he was a very active person. He didn't sleep much. After the verdict he was depressed. His routine changed completely, he stayed most of the time in his room,"
Navama said.


The man who was once considered the most influential powerbroker in the Kremlin, and who played a key part in Vladimir Putin’s rise to prominence, was now facing probable bankruptcy, and a life spent away from his homeland, where he was convicted in absentia for embezzlement.

"He told me he wasn't a billionaire. He said was the poorest man in the world," Navama said.

Berezovsky, a former mathematician, contemplated going back into academia and business, and even penned a remorseful letter to Putin, asking to return to Russia, where he is still widely associated with misappropriation of state assets following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

But he died before any of these plans came to pass.

The inquest continues, with others from Berezovsky’s close family and friends due to give testimony this week.

Comments (18)

 

XeTzo 27.03.2014 11:28

In Russia they have applicable for this "event" expression: For the dog - dog's de@th!

 

Sydney Butler 27.03.2014 11:06

Joe, I support you and others entirely in decrying "racist drivel" and blaming everything on the Jews. This is unacceptable and morally contemptible. But then you, yourself, take that same route by advocating that "the planet should cut off all relations with Russia". That, my friend, is wrong! That too is racism!

 

Pat Richards 27.03.2014 09:08

rocky Fjord 26.03.2014 18:47

One's perception changes living in nature. There is a sense of freedom one cannot experience living in society, with its rules and corrupt authorities and their injustice.

  


Ni cely put friend.

View all comments (18)
Add comment

Authorization required for adding comments

Register or

Name

Password

Show password

Register

or Register

Request a new password

Send

or Register

To complete a registration check
your Email:

OK

or Register

A password has been sent to your email address

Edit profile

X

Name

New password

Retype new password

Current password

Save

Cancel

Follow us

Follow us