Ex-deputy director general of Aeroflot airlines company Nikolai Glushkov. File picture: Pavel Smertin/Kommersant Photo via AP

London - A corner's court is scheduled to open an inquest on Thursday after the suspected murder of Nikolai Glushkov, who is said to have been an enemy of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Counter-terrorism police launched a murder investigation after Glushkov, 68, sometimes known as Glouchkov, was found dead at his London home on March 12.

The Metropolitan Police said a pathologist's report gave the cause of death as "compression to the neck."

It said counter-terrorism officers were leading the probe "because of the associations Mr Glushkov is believed to have had."

The inquest by the West London coroner comes amid a diplomatic row following the nerve-agent poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the British city of Salisbury.

A police officer stands on duty outside the home of Nikolai Glushkov in New Malden, on the outskirts of London.
A police officer stands on duty outside the home of Nikolai Glushkov in New Malden, on the outskirts of London. Picture: Simon Dawson/Reuters

Glushkov's family issued a statement via the police on Wednesday, saying they were "devastated at the loss of Nikolai and are coming to terms with our grief."

The police said there is "nothing to suggest any link to the attempted murders in Salisbury, nor any evidence that he [Glushkov] was poisoned."

Glushkov is a former friend and business associate of the late Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky, who was found hanged in London in 2013.

Police officers walk out of an alleyway cordoned off near a house in New Malden where Russian businessman Nikolai Glushkov was found dead.
Police officers walk out of an alleyway cordoned off near a house in New Malden, south west London which has been sealed-off after Russian businessman Nikolai Glushkov was found dead. Picture: Matt Dunham/AP

Police believed Berezovsky committed suicide, but Glushkov and other friends had raised doubts about the death. A coroner recorded an open verdict.

Bill Browder, the founder of Hermitage Capital Management and an outspoken critic of Putin, said Glushkov's death was a "very disturbing development."

"Another Russian enemy of Putin, Nikolai Glushkov, found dead at his London home," Browder tweeted.