'NOT SUSPICIOUS' No witnesses at inquest of tycoon found hanged 4 days after Ukraine invasion


EXCLUSIVE: NO witnesses will give any evidence at the inquest of a Ukrainian tycoon found hanged in the garage of his £18 million mansion just four days after the Kremlin invaded his homeland, it has emerged. Mikhail Watford, 66, (above) a close friend of late Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky, was found dead by a gardener at his home on the Wentworth Estate in Virginia Water, Surrey, on February 28. The father of three, 66, made his fortune from oil refineries in Ukraine. His death has been included in a list of several high-profile Russians, many linked to the energy industry, who have died in apparent accidents, suicides or murder suicides since the start of the Kremlin's invasion of Ukraine on February 24, prompting suspicions of potential foul play. At the time of his death neighbours and associates said Mr Watford had feared he was on a Kremlin "hitlist" for assassination and they had suspicions concerning the timing of his death. It has long been suggested that the Kremlin uses staged so-called "Russian hanging" to eliminate targets.

Mr Berezovsky, 67, (above) was also found hanged at his Berkshire mansion in March 2013, with many believing he was killed, while the inquest a year later recorded an open verdict. Surrey Police said at the time of Mr Watford's death it did not appear to be suspicious and this conclusion has been supported by his family, according to a coroner's investigator. An inquest was due to begin into Mr Watford's death on Friday (July 29), however it has been adjourned to a date to be set. Andy Silk, HM Coroner’s Investigator for Surrey, said Mr Watford's family were in favour of having a brief documentary inquest hearing which takes place with no witnesses giving evidence. He said: "Family have supported a non-attended documentary hearing which will take place on a date to be fixed by the Coroner." Asked if any suspicions remained around the case, he added: "No, none at all."