Suspect charged in Russian banker's murder
"MOSCOW, Russia (Reuters) -- Russian prosecutors on Wednesday charged a private banker with ordering the murder of first deputy chairman of the central bank Andrei Kozlov, his lawyer told Reuters.
Alexei Frenkel, former head of a private bank that Kozlov had closed down three months before he was shot dead, was detained on January 11. A court formally approved his arrest on Monday.
"My client was officially charged with organizing the murder of Kozlov," Frenkel's lawyer Igor Trunov said by telephone. Frenkel has said he is not guilty.
Kozlov, who led the fight against money laundering in Russia's secretive financial world, was shot in September after playing in a soccer game between central bank officials and bankers.
The killing, one of the highest profile assassinations of an official under President Vladimir Putin, raised concerns about stability and brought back memories of the murky contract killings of the 1990s.
Kozlov, a father of three, made his name by withdrawing the licenses of banks that broke central bank rules. Prosecutors says dozens of tiny banks are used to launder billions of dollars of criminal money each year.
Frenkel, who was born in 1971, is the former CEO of VIP Bank. The Russian central bank, where Kozlov headed banking supervision, withdrew VIP Bank's licence in June 2006 for breaking anti-money laundering regulations"