Frenkel Gets 19 Years In Kozolov's Murder

APBanker Alexei Frenkel standing behind bulletproof glass Thursday in the Moscow City Court, which sentenced him to 19 years in prison on charges of ordering the murder of Central Bank First Deputy Chairman Andrei Kozlov in September 2006.
The Moscow City Court on Thursday sentenced banker Alexei Frenkel to 19 years in prison for ordering the 2006 killing of central banker Andrei Kozlov, who had led a campaign against money laundering and corruption.

Frenkel, 36, was convicted last month along with six other defendants of organizing and carrying out Kozlov's assassination, which prosecutors said was motivated by revenge after the first deputy head of the Central Bank had stripped hundreds of banks of their licenses. Four of those banks were linked to Frenkel.

The court sentenced the other defendants, including three Ukrainian citizens convicted of carrying out the attack on Kozlov, to prison terms ranging from six years to life.

Prosecutor Gulchekhra Ibragimova said she was satisfied with Frenkel's sentence, describing it as "fair, in line with the law and well-founded," Interfax reported. Prosecutors had asked that Frenkel, who has maintained that he is innocent, be sentenced to life in prison.

Frenkel's family said he would appeal. "For him, a life sentence and 19 years are the same thing," Frenkel's brother, Mikhail Frenkel, told Interfax.

"He didn't move a muscle in his face," Frenkel's father, Yefim Frenkel, said. "Maybe the Supreme Court will sort it out."

Kozlov was gunned down in September 2006 as he left a Moscow football game. His driver, Alexander Semyonov, died immediately, and Kozlov died the following morning in the hospital.

Kozlov, 41, had led a campaign to clean up the banking sector and the Central Bank revoked the licenses of dozens of private banks, accusing them of many forms of criminal activity including money laundering. Investigators said Frenkel, whose Sodbiznesbank and VIP-Bank had their licenses revoked by Kozlov, lost billions of rubles as a result of Kozlov's actions.

The court on Wednesday sentenced Alexei Polovinkin, the man convicted of pulling the trigger in the attack, to life in prison. Maxim Proglyad, who was convicted only of shooting at Kozlov's driver, was sentenced to 24 years.

Moscow residents Boris Shafrai and Liana Askerova, who were convicted of being accessories to the murder, were sentenced to 14 and 13 years in prison, respectively. The jury last month asked for leniency for Bogdan Pogorzhevsky, who admitted his guilt and testified against the other suspects, and Alexander Belokopytov, who they said played a minor role in the killing. The court handed Pogorzhevsky and Belokopytov six- and 10 years, respectively.