One of the world’s richest men, Hans Kristian Rausing, was charged with preventing the lawful burial of his wife's body, Reuters reported on Tuesday.
The report, citing London’s Metropolitan Police, said the charges filed on Monday extend to July 9, when Eva Rausing, 48, was found dead in the couple’s $100 million home in London after her husband was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
Rausing’s body was discovered in an advanced state of decomposition that suggested she had been dead for some time, possibly as long as a month, The Independent reported on Monday.
Police went to the couple’s Georgian mansion to arrest Hans Kristian Rausing — billionaire heir to the Tetra Pak fortune — on suspicion of drug possession after he was seen driving erratically. In the search of the home for drugs, police discovered the body of Eva Rausing.
The couple had a long-publicized battle with drug use and addiction.
A profile in the Sydney Morning Herald, citing friends of the couple, reported that in the months leading up to her death, Eva Rausing had been wracked by fears that she and her husband were being spied on, and that they were the victims of a conspiracy of "bribes, lies and sleaze."
Hans Kristian Rausing was arrested in connection with her death, but the autopsy was inconclusive on the cause because of the decomposition, reports said.
Rausing remains under arrest but is receiving medical treatment for withdrawal and has not yet been questioned by detectives, the Associated Press reported.
The charge of "preventing the decent and lawful burial" is a common law offence, which leaves it up to a judge how much time Hans Kristian Rausing would face if convicted, the AP said. Recent cases on similar charges have led to sentences of several years.
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