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Monday 20 November 2017

Ukraine blames Russian crime lord for death of renegade politician

File photo of murdered politician Denis Voronenkov (AP)
File photo of murdered politician Denis Voronenkov (AP)

Ukraine's chief prosecutor has blamed a Russian crime lord linked to Russia's security agency for the killing of renegade Russian politician Denis Voronenkov.

Prosecutor general Yuriy Lutsenko said Mr Voronenkov was gunned down in March on orders from Vladimir Tyurin, a former partner of Mr Voronenkov's wife, Maria Maksakova.

Mr Tyurin has denied the allegations.

Mr Lutsenko said Mr Tyurin, who had ties with Russia's Federal Security Service, or FSB, commissioned several Ukrainians for the hit job.

Mr Voronenkov, who had toed the Kremlin line while serving as a Russian politician but turned a Kremlin critic after his move to Ukraine last year, was shot dead near the entrance to a hotel in the centre of Kiev.

The hit man, a Ukrainian, was fatally wounded by Mr Voronenkov's bodyguard, who also died in the gunfight.

Mr Lutsenko said two other Ukrainian suspects have been detained and another two are on the run.

He did not provide details of Mr Tyurin's alleged FSB ties.

Russia has denied any involvement in Mr Voronenkov's killing.

Mr Tyurin's lawyer, Sergei Belyak, dismissed Mr Lutsenko's accusations in remarks carried by the Interfax news agency.

He said Mr Tyurin had no conflicts with or personal grudge against Mr Voronenkov, and no links to the FSB.

Mr Voronenkov, who owned prized property in Moscow, was reportedly involved in business disputes, but saw off attempts to lift his parliamentary immunity amid criminal charges while in Russia.

Russian investigators filed fraud charges against him in connection with his business activities after his move to Ukraine.

Relations between the two countries have been badly strained over Russia's 2014 annexation of the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine and its support for separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine.

AP

Press Association

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