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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 February 2008, 18:40 GMT
Thousands mourn Georgian tycoon
House of Badri Patarkatsishvili on the day he was found dead
Badri Patarkatsishvili died in exile, at Leatherhead in Surrey
A Georgian multi-millionaire who died at his British mansion has been buried in the Georgian capital Tbilisi.

Thousands gathered to applaud Badri Patarkatsishvili, 52, as his coffin was carried to his home.

Mr Patarkatsishvili was living in exile to avoid arrest on charges of plotting to overthrow the Georgian government.

Although the UK authorities are still awaiting the results of further tests, first indications suggest he died from natural causes.

Government accused

Mr Patarkatsishvili - Georgia's richest man - died at his home in Leatherhead, Surrey on 12 February.

In the past he had accused the Georgian government of planning to murder him.

Police in the UK are still conducting toxicology tests, which are due to be completed in a few weeks. But a British pathologist has already said he was suffering from severe heart disease and could have died at any time.

A recent survey by the Georgian weekly newspaper 'Kviris' showed that 46.8% of respondents believed Mr Patarkatsishvili had been assassinated.

Boris Berezovsky with Badri Patarkatsishvili (right)
Badri Patarkatsishvili with former partner Boris Berezovsky, left.

Badri Patarkatsishvili left Georgia for self-imposed exile in the UK after taking part in mass demonstrations last November.

Coup charges

He faced charges of plotting to overthrow president Mikhail Saakashvili, which he denied. Last month he stood against him in an election, but polled just 7% of the vote.

Badri Patarkatsishvili came to prominence in Georgia following the break-up of the Soviet Union, in partnership with another famous political exile, the billionaire businessman Boris Berezovsky.

Mr Berezovsky was not among mourners at the funeral. He told journalists he had been unable to get a Georgian visa in time.

He may also have been deterred by fears that Georgia would act on an arrest warrant issued against him by Russia, where he is wanted on charges of corruption.

Mr Berezovsky, a frequent visitor to Israel, said he would pray for his friend at the wailing wall in Jerusalem.

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