An inquest into the death of Russian businessman Nikolay Glushkov has opened at West London Coroner’s Court.
Mr Glushkov was found dead in his home on Clarence Avenue, New Malden, on March 12 but four days later on March 16 the Met launched a murder investigation.
The inquest was told the 68-year-old’s cause of death was compression to the neck, and the court heard he was pronounced dead at 10.48pm.
Mr Glushkov fled Russia after being accused of fraud during his time as deputy director of the Russian airline Aeroflot.
Last year, during a trial in absentia he was sentenced to eight years in Russian prison, convicted of stealing £87 million from the airline.
He was due to attend the commercial court in London to defend himself on Monday March 12 – the day his body was discovered.
Mr Glushkov was a close friend of Putin critic Boris Berezovsky.
The oligarch was found hanged at his Berkshire home in 2013 but an inquest into his death record an open verdict.
On Wednesday Mr Glushkov’s family released a statement saying they were devastated at his death.
It said: “We, the family of Mr Nikolay Glushkov, are very grateful for the messages of sympathy received. A special thank you goes out to the Metropolitan Police and the emergency services for their rapid response and assistance on the night.
“We are devastated at the loss of Nikolay and are coming to terms with our grief. We are assisting the Counter Terror Command with their investigation. As a result we will not be making or releasing any further public statements at this stage of the investigation.”
The inquest was adjourned for a date to be fixed.