Berezovsky Funeral Postponed Indefinitely
Published: May 6, 2013 (Issue # 1757)
Relatives of former Kremlin powerbroker Boris Berezovsky have decided to postpone his funeral indefinitely, state television reported.
The decision to delay the funeral of Berezovsky, who died at his home in Ascot, Britain, on March 23, was made to keep the event private, Rossia-1 said late Sunday.
Berezovsky was to have been buried on Monday at London’s Gunnersbury Cemetery, Dozhd televison reported Friday.
No new date or location for the funeral has been announced.
Berezovsky’s relatives initially had hoped to repatriate his body to Russia and give it a Russian Orthodox funeral.
But an Orthodox funeral proved difficult after British police concluded that Berezovsky had hung himself in his bathroom. The church considers suicide a sin.
Berezovsky’s relatives had promised to challenge the police’s findings, which would have required them to appoint an independent expert to conduct a second investigation into the death within two weeks, Rossia-1 said. No expert was appointed, which de facto meant that the relatives accepted the death as suicide.
Berezovsky, a gray cardinal in the Kremlin in the 1990s who was widely seen as playing a key role in President Vladimir Putin’s ascent to power, had been living in self-exile in Britain after having a falling out with Putin in 2000. Russian investigators opened a slew of criminal cases into his business activities, and Berezovsky fled to Britain, which granted him asylum.
In the months before his death Berezovsky apparently sank into deep depression as his wealth dwindled and he lost a multibillion-dollar lawsuit against former business associate Roman Abramovich in a London court. He told friends that he missed Russia and longed to return home, even reportedly writing a letter to Putin seeking his forgiveness.