WASHINGTON, March 11. /TASS/. The death of Russia’s former Press Minister Mikhail Lesin in the US capital last November was caused by blunt force trauma to the head, the police and medical examiner office of Washington DC said in a joint statement on Thursday.
Mikhail Lesin also had blunt force injuries to the neck, torso, arms and legs, Washington DC's chief medical examiner said after a post-mortem. The 57-year-old was found at the city's Dupont Circle hotel.
In a joint statement, the District of Colombia Office of Medical Examiner and Metropolitan Police Department said: "The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) has released the cause and manner of death for Mikhail Lesin, 59, Russia. Cause of Death: blunt force injuries of the head," the statement said. "Other contributing causes: blunt force injuries of the neck, torso, upper extremities and lower extremities. Manner of death: undetermined." The incident remains under active investigation, the statement added,
Lesin was former Russian press minister and a one-time head of the powerful Gazprom-Media Holding group.
After his death, his family members were quoted by Russian media as saying that he had a heart attack.
The chief medical examiner provided no further details.
Meanwhile, police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck said the case remained under investigation, the Washington Post reported. He declined to say whether the post-mortem results meant a crime may have been committed.
Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Moscow was now expecting clarification from Washington and relevant official data on the progress of the investigation. "The Russian Embassy in the United States has repeatedly sent a request through diplomatic channels about the investigation into the death of a Russian citizen," Zakharova wrote in a post on Facebook. "The US side has not provided us with any substantive information. We are waiting for clarification from Washington and the relevant official details on the progress of the investigation."
According to The Washington Post, "Lesin’s body was found before noon in a room at the Dupont Circle Hotel in the 1500 block of New Hampshire Avenue NW. It is in the Doyle hotel chain. Authorities on Thursday released no other information about the mysterious death of the prominent political figure who once served as a press minister and executive of Gazprom-Media, the state-run holding company that controls much of the Russian press."
Lesin died on November 6, 2015 at the Dupont Circle in the center of the US capital at the age of 57. The police found nothing suspicious at the scene then. The former minister’s friends in Moscow said that he was ill in recent years, underwent several operations, and, according to preliminary data, the cause of his death was a heart attack.
Lesin held the post of Russia’s Minister for the Press, TV and Radio Broadcasting and Mass Communications between July 1999 and February 2004. In 2013-2014 he was the CEO and Chairman of the Board of Gazprom-Media Holding.