German Gorbuntsov: who is the wanted Russian banker shot in London?
Gorbuntsov tells The Mail on Sunday:
“I believe that the assassination attack on me was organised by the same group of people that four years ago was behind a raid on my assets. The main argument, proving their involvement is this: they are the only ones with a serious motive. I simply have no-one else who would want me to be dead.”
He claims four men are behind his attempted murder. One of them is said to be close to Vladimir Putin. Gorbuntsov says the attack is linked to his decision to help the police in their investigation of the attempted murder of banker Alexander Antonov in Moscow in 2009. Antonov was Gorbuntsov’s partner and co-owner of Konvers Group.
Antonov recovered. He fled to London.
Whoever the hitman is, one thing is certain: he’s not all that good at it.
The MoS says the four men are “understood” to have denied any wrongdoing.
As for the facts, well, Gorbuntsov’s shooter was captured on CCTV. He’s slim, white and around 6ft and slim.
What odds on the police catching him, let alone bringing the would-be murderer and his alleged Associates to justice? Slim. Minds turn to the murder of former KGB operative Alexander Litvinenko in London. No-one has been made to answer for that crime. When a wealthy or prominent Russian who flees his native land is in trouble does Putin’s Mother Russia help or see it as PR?
The Mail tells us that Mr Gorbuntsov is listed as ‘wanted’ on the website of Moldova’s Centre for Combating Economic Crimes and Corruption, over allegations of an illegal bank takeover and embezzlement.
On Arhram Online we read:
Moldovan prosecutors opened several criminal probes into German Gorbuntsov, who was shot outside his home in east London on Tuesday, after a bank he owned there, Universalbank, was closed down in February, Komsomolskaya Pravda reported.
“We can write a thousand requests but Britain will never extradite him to us,” it quoted anti-corruption prosecutor Viorel Radetchi as saying.
The banker’s lawyer Vadim Vedenin said Gorbuntsov had told him: “If I return to Russia, they will bury me.”
Gorbuntsov’s wife, Lorissa Gorbuntsov, has issued an appeal. She wasn’t with him when he was shot. She was in Russia. A younger woman was with Mr Gorbunsov, and it was this other woman who called the police:
“We as a family would like to appeal for any person, in this country or outside the UK, to come forward and provide the police with any information which will assist in the capture of the person or persons behind the attempted murder of my husband, German. This is an act of pure unexpected violence, which should be treated as so. Please come forward so that justice can prevail.”
The Mail says:
Mr Gorbuntsov was preparing to claim political asylum in Britain. Before amassing his fortune he was jailed for robbery
Russia’s Nezavisimaya Gazeta reports:
Gorbuntsov, 45, was convicted of robbery in the 1980s and went into business in the 1990s as a founder of some 40 companies. He began his financial career in 2002 as a shareholder and director of Interus Bank. In 2005, the bank was stripped of its license for suspected money laundering, according to investigators.
Murky stuff in London town…