Eva Rausing: Billionaire Heir Appears in Court over Wife’s Death

Hans Krisitian Rausing, the son of one of Britain's richest man stands accused of “preventing the lawful and decent burial” of his wife Eva.

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Hans Kristian Rausing and his wife Eva at a charity gala in 2003

Hans Kristian Rausing, the son of the billionaire founder of Swedish packaging giant Tetra Pak, appeared in court today for the charge of  “preventing the lawful and decent burial” of his wife.

Eva Rausing was found dead in her London home on July 9 while police conducted a search of the property, after drugs were found in her husband’s car.

In court, it was revealed that her body was discovered in an “advanced state of decomposition” — wrapped in trash bags sealed with duct tape and hidden beneath a pile of clothes in an annex off the second floor of the house, according to the Daily Mail.

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It is now believed that Rausing might have been deceased for up to four weeks before her body was discovered.

The Press Association reports that her husband, who is heir to an $8 billion fortune, “looked frail in the dock at West London Magistrates’ Court,” before being granted conditional bail to appear again at Isleworth Crown Court on July 26.  “Bearded and bespectacled, Rausing spoke only to confirm his name, age and address.” He wore dark suit and light blue shirt, without a tie.

District Judge James Henderson told him, “I grant you bail on two conditions. The first is that you must reside at the Capio Nightingale Hospital and that you live there and sleep there overnight, and you do not leave that hospital unless you are accompanied by a member of hospital staff.”

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An inquest into Mrs. Rausing’s death opened on Westminster coroner’s court on Friday, after the initial postmortem failed to identify a cause of death.

She is suspected to have died of a drugs overdose.

Mr. Rausing was initially stopped by police on suspicion driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

The couple have both spent many years battling drug addiction. In fact, they first met at a U.S. rehabilitation clinic in the early 1990s, according to the New York Times.

In 2008, Mrs. Rausing was arrested for drug possession after she attempted to pass security at the U.S. embassy in London with a handbag containing crack cocaine.

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However, they were also generous benefactors to several anti-drug charities. Between 1998 and 2010, Mrs Rausing donated more than $750,000 to the addiction awareness program Mentor UK. Although she left its board of directors in 2005, she remained a patron until 2010.

She was also involved with the charities Rehabilitation for Addicted Prisoners’ Trust (RAPT) and Action on Addiction. She paid particular attention to the latter’s specialist women’s unit, Hope House, which deals with drug addiction as well as issues such as domestic abuse, eating disorders and mental illness.

On Tuesday Mrs. Rausing’s family released a statement hoping to “draw attention to the tragedy of drug addiction and to generate awareness and financial support for this cause in the future.”

The statement included a tribute by her father, Tom Kemeny, in which he described his daughter as an “American philanthropist, loving wife and mother, who helped countless addicts, and children.”

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He was praised his daughter’s endeavours, “both with her personal involvement and charitable contribution,” for having “”saved” thousands of lives,” though “tragically not her own.”

He said, “This is a stark reminder that the illness of addiction knows no social class or gender.”

In spite of the charge against his son-in-law, Kemeny appeared to be standing by Mr. Rausing ahead of the court appearance, saying: “Eva and Hans Kristian were a devoted and loving couple for the 21 years they spent together.

“They benefited thousands of lives through their personal involvement and philanthropic activities.

“They bravely battled their demons and supported each other and Eva will be a devastating loss to our beloved “son” Hans Kristian, whom we love unconditionally with all our hearts.”

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