Skip to comments.Dead Billionaire Had Feared Enemy Plot (Georgian Opposition Leader Victim of Kremlin-a-cide?)
Posted on 02/13/2008 11:47:49 AM PST by Squidpup
The sudden death of an exiled Georgian billionaire may have been another "Alexander Litvinenko-style" murder, it is feared.
A major crime squad is investigating the death of 52-year-old Badri Patarkatsishvili, whose body was found at his country mansion in Surrey at about 11pm last night.
His family said he suffered a heart attack - but Surrey Police have launched an investigation to confirm the exact cause of death after reports of a plot to kill him.
Sky News' home affairs correspondent Mark White said: "The police want to leave no stone uncovered.
"In the light of Litvinenko's death in 2006 they are treating it very seriously and want to investigate properly to rule out foul play or to find out whether he was the subject of a hit."
Mr Patarkatsishvili - Georgia's richest man, with an estimated £6bn fortune - spoke recently of his fears for his life after one alleged plot against him was uncovered in London.
It has also been reported that an assassination plan bore chilling similarities to the killing of ex-KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko in 2006.
Mr Litvinenko - an outspoken critic of the Putin regime - was killed by radiation poisoning in London. Moscow has refused to extradite the prime suspect, ex-KGB bodyguard Andrei Lugovoi.
Talking about Mr Patarkatsishvili's death at his home Downside Manor outside Leatherhead, a spokeswoman for Surrey Police said: "As with all unexplained deaths, it is being treated as suspicious.
"A post-mortem examination will be held later today to establish the cause of death."
Mr Patarkatsishvili amassed his wealth during the privatisation of state industries in Russia during the 1990s.
He helped to finance the Rose Revolution that swept President Mikhail Saakashvili to power in Georgia in 2003, but subsequently fell out with him.
The Georgian - who founded opposition TV channel Imedi in 2002 - backed mass street protests against the government in Tbilisi last November.
And just one month ago, Georgian prosecutors charged Mr Patarkatsishvili with plotting a coup after he had stood unsuccessfully against President Saakashvili in January elections.
In December he told the Sunday Times he did not feel safe returning to his home country.
The paper published extracts of a tape recording of a conversation said to have taken place between an official from the Georgian interior ministry and a possible hitman.
The two men allegedly discussed two options for making Mr Patarkatsishvili "disappear completely".
One involved murdering the tycoon during one of his regular visits to London and the other was to kill him as he flew in his private aeroplane to his castle in southern Georgia.
The official reportedly said Georgia wanted to be able to blame the assassination on Russia.
Asked whether he felt safe in Britain, Mr Patarkatsishvili told the Sunday Times: "I know about this tape and I was told it was very serious.
"I have 120 bodyguards but I know that's not enough. I don't feel safe anywhere and that is why I'm particularly not going to Georgia."
He also had close links to fugitive Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky, who lives in self-imposed exile in London. The outspoken Kremlin critic has spoken of the "terrible tragedy" of losing his "closest friend".
Putincide.......Akin to Arkancide......
Maybe he choked on his name, bless his heart.
But seriously, my sympathies to his family.
You won’t here about this on TV or radio. The announcer will choke on his name.
Badri Patarkatsishvili, fast, three times.
The latest in news media metaphor mixing?
Reminds me of a Paul Harvey story about the destruction of hundreds of pounds of marijuana seized by the various law enforcement agencies in Cook County, IL. being destroyed in a blast furnace on the south side of Chicago.
The news media was invited to watch and get video of the event.
Paul Harvey reported: "Just as the marijuana went up in a huge cloud of smoke, a flock of seagulls off Lake Michigan, flew right through it as we all watched.
When the smoke finally cleared, not a single tern was left un-stoned."
* In this photo he hag just received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005.
“No left turn unstoned!”
(Bumper sticker spotted in Chelan, WA, 1986).
Friends called him “Badri P.” to save time.
The KGB has these neato poisens that come in a part A and Part B. So you slip part A into the guys food or something and it has no effect. But later when he is in a bus someone has put the part B in a cigarette and then blown smoke in the guys face.... PLOP instant dead of heart failure.
“Tbilisi-based Rustavi 2 TV alleged that Patarkatsishvili’s name was linked to several notorious murders in Russia and Georgia, including the assassinations of Vlad Listyev.”
This guy was scum just like Litvinenko and he was probably offed by rival criminal gangs.
Stop blaming Bush for everything -—ooops I meant Putin.
Interesting. What else have you heard?
Looks like he died of old age. 52 is ripe for that area.
Lots of things...but not enough to kill me over. .... comrade.jk
52-year-old Badri Patarkatsishvili, whose body was found at his country mansion in Surrey at about 11pm last night.
a polonium epidemic, I presume.