7 Nov 2015

Former Putin aide Mikhail Lesin found dead in US hotel

A former aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin has been found dead in Washington DC, Russian officials say. Mikhail Lesin, 57, Russia's former press minister and a one-time head of the powerful Gazprom-Media Holding group, died on Thursday, they said. Russian media, quoting his family, said he suffered a heart attack.


The Washington Post quoted Russian embassy officials as saying Mr Lesin's body was found in a room at the Dupont Circle hotel. It reported that police were investigating the death of a man but that he had not yet been formally identified.

Last year, Mississippi senator Roger Wicker called for an investigation into Mr Lesin, saying his fortune "raises serious questions". In a letter to the US Department of Justice, Sen Wicker said Mr Lesin bought property worth $28m (£18.6m) in Los Angeles for his family after finishing work as a civil servant. Sen Wicker asked how a former civil servant would have been able to buy and maintain expensive property, and expressed concern their purchase may have involved people and groups on a US sanctions list.

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