Cause of banker's death still not clear

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Detectives investigating the death of a NatWest banker, who was to be called as a defence witness in the trial of the NatWest Three, yesterday searched a recycling bin near his home for documents linked to the case. The body of Neil Coulbeck, 53, was found in parkland close to his home in Woodford Green, east London, on Tuesday morning.

Scotland Yard said last night that an initial post-mortem examination of his body, which may have lain undiscovered for five days, had proved inconclusive, and the results of toxicology tests were being awaited.

Liberty said it was "troubled" by a claim from friends of Mr Coulbeck that he had been "hounded" by FBI investigators pursuing the NatWest Three. But the FBI last night took the unusual step of announcing that it had only interviewed him once, and had not considered him a suspect.

The apparent suicide of the former NatWest senior executive came just 24 hours before his three former colleagues were extradited to America.

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