Russian defector's death 'not murder'

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The Independent US

A former top Russian spy who defected to the US after running espionage operations from the United Nations choked to death on a piece of meat, a pathologist in Florida found.

Sergei Tretyakov, 53, also had a cancerous tumour in his colon when he died on 13 June, according to an autopsy report. Mr Tretyakov's sudden death had led to some internet speculation that he was murdered.

Mr Tretyakov's defection in 2000 was one of the most prominent cases involving Russia's intelligence agency in the past decade. He later said his agents helped Russia steal nearly $500m from the UN's oil-for-food programme in Iraq.

His widow, Helen Tretyakov, announced his death on 9 July. She said then that she announced the death to prevent Russian intelligence from claiming responsibility or "flattering themselves that they punished Sergei".

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