Cause of Russian UN ambassador’s death in NY won’t be released

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Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin speaks at the UN Security Council on a Russian-Turkish peace plan for Syria (KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)

NEW YORK — 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.