The Kremlin may have covered up the murder of a former KGB chief accused of helping ex-MI6 spy Christopher Steele to pull together the notorious dossier on Donald Trump.
Oleg Erovinkin served as a general in the KGB and was found dead on Boxing Day in the back of his car in Moscow.
It has been claimed he died of a heart attack, but an expert on Russian security threats believes he was murdered for his role in the explosive dossier.
The suspected murder victim was close to former deputy prime minister Igor Sechin, who is named throughout the leaked memo, according to the Telegraph.
Erovinkin is understood to have been an important link between Sechin and leader of the Kremlin Vladimir Putin.
Agent Steele’s dossier, which was made public earlier this month, noted how he had a source close to Sechin.
He said the source had revealed alleged links between the US President’s supporters and Moscow.
At the time of Erovinkin’s death, Russian state-run RIA Novosti news agency said his body was found in a black Lexus and that a major investigation was underway in the area.
His body was sent to the morgue, which returned no cause of death, and the investigation continues.
Local media reports suggested he was killed as a result of foul play, but it was later claimed he died of a heart attack.
Christo Grozev, an expert on Russia-related security threats, wrote in a blog post, that he believes Erovinkin was Mr Steele’s dossier source.
He wrote that he has no doubt the dossier was on Putin’s desk at the time the suspected victim died.
‘Whichever is true,’ he wrote, ‘He would have had a motive to seek – and find the mole.
‘He would have had to conclude that Erovinkin was at least a person of interest.’