Page last updated at 12:47 GMT, Thursday, 13 November 2008

Russian banker's killers jailed

Alexei Frenkel. File photo
Alexei Frenkel's bank was closed in June 2006

A Russian banker has been sentenced to 19 years in jail for masterminding the murder of the deputy head of Russia's Central Bank, Andrei Kozlov, in 2006.

Alexei Frenkel was sentenced by a Moscow city court, although prosecutors had pressed for a life term.

Earlier this year, Frenkel was found guilty by a jury of hiring the gunmen who shot Mr Kozlov and his driver.

On Thursday, six other defendants received terms ranging from six years in jail to life imprisonment.

Andrei Kozlov. File photo
Andrei Kozlov was gunned down after leaving a football match in Moscow

Mr Kozlov's murder was one of the most high-profile contract killings of recent years.

He had headed a campaign to clean up the banking sector, during which Frenkel's VIP Bank was forced to close down in June 2006.

The Central Bank revoked the licences of dozens of private banks, accusing them of many forms of criminal activity including money-laundering.

During the trial, the prosecution argued that Frenkel had acted out of revenge when he ordered the killing of Mr Kozlov in September 2006 in Moscow.

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