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Russian tycoon Berezovsky found dead in London

Exiled Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky, a prominent Russian opposition figure, was found dead at his home near London on Saturday, British officials told NBC News. He was 67.

His death was also reported in a Facebook post by his son-in-law, Egor Schuppe. "Boris Berezovsky dead," the post read.

Police said in a statement that they were investigating "the unexplained death of a 67-year-old man, believed to be Russian national Boris Berezovsky." Officials were combing through a property in Ascot, Berkshire, which is about 25 miles west of London. 

"In light of the findings of the specially trained officers who carried out the (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) examination as a precaution, the majority of the cordon which was put around the perimeter of the property has now been lifted," Thames Valley Police said in a statement.

One road block in the area remained closed, police said.

Officers trained in dealing with chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats conducted a number of searches as a precaution but found "nothing of concern in the property," according to the police statement.

Police said Berezovsky's body was still in the property Saturday night. 

"I would like to reassure residents that we are confident there is no risk to the wider community," Supt. Stuart Greenfield said in an earlier statement. "The property is part of a large estate so a number of roads are closed off at the moment and will remain so for the time being."

Berezovsky accumulated his wealth in the early 1990s, when Russia's privatization of state assets turned chaotic. He orchestrated the re-election of Boris Yeltsin in 1996 and played a role in Vladimir Putin's rise to prominence, but he fell out of favor with the latter after Putin became president of Russia in 2000. 

Berezovsky fled Russia for Britain in 2001 after criticizing Putin's government. He was granted political asylum in Britain in 2003.

Berezovsky was a close friend of Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko, who was fatally poisoned with radioactive polonium in London in 2006.

Last year, a court ordered him to pay $53.3 million in legal costs to fellow Russian tycoon Roman Abramovich, the billionaire owner of Chelsea Football Club, after losing a legal battle against him. The legal and other costs of that lawsuit amounted to about $250 million.