Russian Banker hit was ordered by four colleagues

Four colleagues ordered ‘hit’ on me, says shot Russian banker

30 April 2012
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/crime/four-colleagues-ordered-hit-on-me-says-shot-russian-banker-7697293.html

Senior police officers are to fly to Moscow after the Russian banker who survived an assassination attempt in London told them who he thinks was behind it.

German Gorbuntsov, who has spoken out for the first time since he was shot six times outside his apartment block in Docklands, has named four former business associates.

He said they ordered his assassination after learning that he was about to make a formal witness statement about an attempt to murder another financier in Moscow in 2009.

Investigators from the Serious Organised Crime Agency are preparing to fly to Russia next month to seek evidence from the men named by Mr Gorbuntsov, say sources in Russia. The 46-year-old, who is going to apply for political asylum in Britain, remains in an unnamed London hospital under 24-hour armed guard. Last week, he was moved out of intensive care, but is expected to remain in a general ward for “many weeks”, according to a source.

The planned Soca visit would be groundbreaking because contacts between Russian and British law enforcement officials have been severely limited since the diplomatic row over Russia’s refusal to extradite Andrey Lugovoy, the main suspect in the London death of dissident Alexander Litvinenko in 2006.

However, under Russian laws, the Soca investigators will not be permitted to question suspects and will only be able to monitor Russian prosecutors doing so.

The banker, who was shot as he entered his apartment block in Byng Street in the shadow of Canary Wharf, gave the names of the business associates in a dossier to Soca, including bank database details which he claims show evidence of illicit deals involving Russian government money.

One is said to be an influential business figure and a close associate of a personal friend of Vladimir Putin, the president-elect of Russia.

All four are believed to strenuously deny the claims by Mr Gorbuntsov and are expected to protest their innocence over his allegations that they were involved in ordering hits not only against him but also banker Alexander Antonov, father of the former owner of Portsmouth Football Club.

A source close to Mr Gorbuntsov said: “He is getting better, and the main thing is that he said that he is not going to stop. He is even more determined now to fight these four.”

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