London, Apr 11 (AFP) Russian whistleblower Alexander Perepilichny was violently sick in a luxury Paris hotel the night before he died in 2012 in Britain in unexplained circumstances, his Ukranian mistress told a court today.

The 44-year-old businessman had been helping investment firm Hermitage Capital Management investigate a money-laundering operation when he collapsed while jogging near his home in the wealthy London commuter district of Weybridge.

British MPs have asked the government to investigate a list of 14 Britons and Russians, including Perepilichny, whose deaths on UK soil in recent years have been deemed potentially suspicious.

The cases have come under particular scrutiny following a nerve agent attack in the city of Salisbury against former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

Perepilichny’s inquest at a London court heard that the married businessman spent his last two nights in Paris with Elmira Medynska, a Ukranian former model who now runs her own fashion company.

Medynska, now 28, testified via videolink from the French capital that on the eve of his death they had dinner at the Buddha Bar, where Perepilichny complained about the food.

“He said he did not like the taste. He was very irritated and mad about the quality of the food,” she said, adding that she thought the problem was with the tempura.

They walked back to their hotel, the five-star Le Bristol, and Perepilichny went straight to the bathroom, where she heard him vomit three times.

The next morning, she said he was “looking very nice, good mood, smiling” as they went for an early breakfast.

Earlier in the trip, she said he had appeared “a little bit nervous.” At lunch, he did not eat but drank a lot of red wine, some of which he spilled on himself.

The next day, Medynska said Perepilichny seemed “in another planet”, distracted by his phone.

However, she said they never discussed his work.

The pair made contact through a dating website in March 2012, meeting up first in Kiev and then in Nice, France.

They kept in touch via phone call, text message and emails, for which Perepilichny used different email addresses and even an alias, she said, adding she had not realised he was married.

Perepilichny died just hours after he returned home on November 10. Two post-mortems have proved inconclusive.

Medynska said she received a phone call two days later from a British number, where someone claiming to be from a hospital told her Perepilichny had been in a “car accident”.

She only discovered he had died on New Year’s Eve, when a friend asked about him and she googled his name.

She said she was “scared because I know nothing about this man.” Months later, she received an email from Perepilichny’s email account telling her she would “die soon”.

Asked if it could have been sent by Perepilichny’s wife, she said: “Maybe.” Perepilichny’s life insurance company ordered tests on the body that it said detected a toxin in his stomach from a Chinese plant called Gelsemium, which can trigger cardiac arrest. (AFP) UZM UZM

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.