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No radioactive involved in Georgian opposition figure's death
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British police have found no radioactive traces in the body of Georgian businessman and opposition politician Badri Patarkatsishvili, according to a BBC report on Wednesday.



Georgian opposition businessman Badri Patarkatsishvili speaks to media during a news conference in Tbilisi in this March 13, 2003 (file photo). Patarkatsishvili, who led and financed an election campaign against President Mikhail Saakashvili, has died in London, one of his election campaign team said on February 13, 2008.


"As the result of initial work by experts there is no suggestion of anything radioactive involved," a police spokeswoman said.


It feared that Patarkatsishvili's death may be a repeat of radioactive poisoning of former Russian KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko in November 2006, said the report.


According to Patarkatsishvili's aides, he died of a heart attack on Tuesday night in Surrey, southeast England.


His former business associate, exiled Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky, said he died at about 2300 GMT on Tuesday.


Berezovsky said he had seen him that day, and he was not ill but had complained about his heart.


On Wednesday, British police launched an investigation into the "suspicious" death of Georgian businessman and opposition politician Badri Patarkatsishvili.


"Police were called to an address in Leatherhead in Surrey late yesterday evening (around 2300 GMT) following the collapse and death of a Georgian businessman, Badri Patarkatsishvili who is believed to have been 52," British police said in a statement.


"As with all unexpected deaths it is being treated as suspicious. A post-mortem will be held later today (Wednesday) to establish the cause of death," it said.


Patarkatsishvili, who lived in self-imposed exile in Britain and Israel, financed his own campaign in January's presidential election, which was won by incumbent Mikhail Saakashvili, and he has since been charged with plotting a coup in connection with anti-government protests last year.


A supporter of the Rose Revolution which brought Saakashvili to power in 2004, Patarkatsishvili later turned against the government and began financing opposition parties.


The authorities accused him of offering a 100 million US dollars bribe to a senior police official to help him overthrow the government and seize the Georgian interior minister.


He denied the charge, saying he himself was being targeted in an assassination plot.


(Xinhua News Agency February 14, 2008)

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