The Latest: Official says Russian envoy died of heart attack
NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the sudden death of Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations (all times local):
A senior New York City official briefed by the medical examiner’s office says Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations died last month from a heart attack and no foul play was suspected.
The official was not authorized to reveal the cause of death and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Friday.
The New York City medical examiner’s office, citing diplomatic protocol, said Friday it was instructed not to publicly release the cause and manner of death for Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, who died suddenly last month after collapsing in his office.
A spokesman for Russia’s U.N. Mission said they regarded the decision not to publicly release the cause of death as one that “fully complies with the principles of inviolability of private life and diplomatic immunity.”
—Associated Press writers Jonathan Lemire and Colleen Long contributed.
The New York City medical examiner’s office will not release the cause and manner of death for Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations.
An autopsy was performed after Ambassador Vitaly Churkin died suddenly last month, but the death required further study.
Spokeswoman Julie Bolcer said Friday the city’s law department instructed the medical examiner’s office not to disclose the information.
On Feb. 24, the U.S. Department of State requested that his cause of death not be revealed because his diplomatic immunity survives his death.
The medical examiner investigates deaths that occur by criminal violence, accident or suicide or when the death is sudden. It also takes the case when the person seemed healthy, or died in an unusual manner. Most of the deaths investigated by the office are not suspicious.