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Belgian Executive Found Dead In Moscow After Apparent Fall

Police cordon off the scene near where the body of Bruno Charles De Cooman was found in Moscow.
Police cordon off the scene near where the body of Bruno Charles De Cooman was found in Moscow.

A Belgian businessman has died after what appeared to be a fall from an apartment building in downtown Moscow, Russian media said on August 30.

The circumstances of Bruno Charles De Cooman's death were being investigated, a police source said, but added that the death was not being treated as a criminal case.

De Cooman was vice president of research and development at the Russian group Novolipetsk Steel (NLMK).

Bruno Charles De Cooman
Bruno Charles De Cooman

Russia's TASS news agency said the businessman fell from an apartment building in Moscow's Serafimovich Street, close to the Kremlin.

"The body was found near the House of the Embankment," a 12-story building on the opposite side of the Moskva River from the Kremlin, Interfax news agency quoted an official source as saying.

"The cause of death appears to be a fall from a high altitude, most likely from a window," the source said.

TASS news agency quoted a source as saying no traces of a struggle were found during a preliminary search of the businessman's flat.

However, the circumstances remain unclear and a police investigation is under way.

NLMK confirmed the death but said it "would not comment on the details of the tragedy before clarifying all the circumstances."

"We are devastated by the news and pass our sincere condolences to Bruno's loved ones," Grigory Fedorishin, NLMK Group president, said in a statement.

NLMK is owned by Vladimir Lisin, who Forbes lists as one of Russia's wealthiest oligarchs.

Lisin recently lost an estimated 4 percent of his fortune -- some $832 million in shares -- after the Kremlin's top economic adviser proposed tax hikes on mining companies to fund a promised increase in social spending. Lisin has been a vehement critic of the plan.

Based on reporting by TASS, AFP and BBC