Billionaire heir ‘unfit’ to talk of wife’s death

Tetra Pak heir Hans Kristian Rausing was not fit to be questioned about the death of his wife Eva, an inquest heard yesterday.

Police discovered the “lifeless body” of millionairess Mrs Rausing after they arrested her husband over drugs earlier this week, the hearing was told.

Mrs Rausing, one of Britain’s richest women, was found dead in a bedroom of the opulent Cadogan Place house in London’s Chelsea which she shared with Mr Rausing.

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Yesterday’s opening of the inquest into Mrs Rausing’s death heard from Detective Inspector Sharon Marman, who told coroner Dr Shirley Radcliffe that Mr Rausing, 49, was stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs on July 9.

Officers found drugs in his car and when they searched the couple’s home they discovered Mrs Rausing’s body.

Mr Rausing was arrested but is yesterday was still under medical supervision and detectives had been unable to interview him.

He was represented yesterday at the inquest opening at Westminster Coroner’s Court by Neil Saunders QC, who represented 10 families at the inquest into the 7/7 bombings.

DI Marman said officers stopped Mr Rausing’s car in Wandsworth where they searched it and discovered a small amount of drugs.

“Authority was granted to search the home address,” she said.

“And during the course of that search officers discovered the apparently lifeless body of a female in one of the bedrooms.”

She added of the suspect: “He has been arrested on suspicion of her murder and we await notification of when he will be fit to be interviewed.”

A post-mortem examination proved inconclusive and further test results are awaited, the officer added.

There was no comment on how long Mrs Rausing’s body had lain in the five-storey Georgian townhouse.

According to reports it may have been there for several days.

It is thought a decision will made next week about when the mother-of-four’s body will be released.

One post-mortem examination has been carried out by a pathologist, with a second pathologist for Mr Rausing present.

The parties will return to the court on October 5 for a hearing in private to review the case.

The couple’s drug problems have been widely reported.

In 2008 they were investigated by police over drugs but the prosecution was formally discontinued.

Mr Rausing, heir to a £5.4bn fortune from his Swedish father’s business, was charged with drugs offences after police found crack cocaine, cocaine and heroin during a search of his home.

After lengthy discussions between his legal team and prosecutors, he accepted a conditional police caution instead.

Neither Mr Rausing nor his wife, who also faced drugs charges, was at City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court that August to hear that the prosecution had been discontinued.

The couple were arrested in April that year after Mrs Rausing was caught with drugs as she tried to enter the United States Embassy in London.

Court documents revealed that Mrs Rausing, then 44, was carrying about 10g of crack cocaine, 2.5g of heroin and 2.35g of diethylpropion, a banned stimulant and appetite suppressant.

A further drugs stash – 220mg of diazepam, used to treat anxiety – was also found in her Renault Clio car.

The couple’s townhouse was subsequently searched. Officers found 5.63g of crack cocaine, 2.9g of heroin and almost 52g of cocaine.

The conditional cautions, administered by a senior local officer, meant the couple admitted possessing the drugs.