The ex-wife of a Russian businessman and ex-senator serving a life sentence for allegedly organizing a series of contract killings has been found dead in his £ 10 million home in London, under what friends claim are suspicious circumstances.
Irina Izmestieva, 52, separated from Igor, was found by friends on a sofa on her property in west London on Friday.
There is no evidence of unfair play, but Evgeny Chichvarkin, a Russian exile in London and friend of Mrs Izmestieva, called on MI5, the UK security service, to investigate.
“I very much hope that the UK’s special services will investigate this matter properly, thoroughly, and maybe one day we will learn what happened,” he said.
According to friends, Mrs. Izmestieva, also known as Irina Ford and originally from Ukraine, died “unexpectedly” at home after a few days of malaise.
It is understood that the Met police did not attend the scene. The London Ambulance Service (LAS) said they were called to reports of an incident in Mrs Izmestieva’s Kensington townhouse.
An ambulance crew attended, but Ms. Izmestieva died on the spot, LAS said.
The mother of two, who used to run a film production company that made films, came to the UK around 2007 and regularly attended high society events, including one with Prince Harry in 2012.
Igor was sentenced to life in a high-security prison 13 years ago for a series of contract killings and remains in prison despite promises by Russian President Vladimir Putin that he would be given a pardon.
Mrs Izmestieva’s home in London was bought for £ 8,850,000 in 2006 by a company registered in the British Virgin Islands, a year before she moved to the UK.