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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Woman Arrested in Kozlov Inquiry

APPolice escorting Alexei Frenkel, suspected of ordering Kozlov's murder, out of the Basmanny District Court on Friday.
Prosecutors said Friday that they had detained a boxing promoter suspected of helping banker Alexei Frenkel find triggermen for the contract killing of Central Bank First Deputy Chairman Andrei Kozlov.

The suspect, Liana Askerova, was taken into custody Wednesday, and the Basmanny District Court officially approved her arrest Friday afternoon on charges of abetting the September killing of Kozlov in the parking lot outside the Spartak sports center.

Ekho Moskvy reported Friday that Askerova had served as an intermediary who found the men who fatally shot Kozlov.

Three Ukrainian men surrendered last year to Moscow authorities, confessing to the murder. But they said a middle-aged man -- not a woman -- had hired them to kill the banking official.

Askerova's lawyer, Yevgeny Martynov, shared few details about his client Friday. He said only that her professional work was in no way related to banking. "I managed to speak to her in the courtroom for three to five minutes before I was asked to leave," Martynov said in an interview. "She and all her relatives are in shock."

Askerova heads an association of boxing promoters, Interfax reported.

Also Friday, Frenkel, who has been identified by prosecutors as the prime suspect in the killing, was slated to be arrested in the Basmanny District Court. But the court ruled Friday that it would postpone until Monday making a final decision about the arrest. The suspect's lawyer, Igor Trunov, said his client, who was detained Thursday, had been beaten and denied food and water while in custody. Frenkel maintains his innocence.

"The beatings were part of a plan by prosecutors to make him confess," Trunov said.

He said Frenkel asked for a cup of water during Friday's hearing, which was the first water he was afforded in the 36 hours following his arrest.

Trunov said Frenkel was detained at night and denied access to a lawyer, both violations of the Constitution. "Frenkel needs help, both medical and judicial, and I can't get through to the prosecutors to meet up with him," Trunov said.

Trunov said he had been given until Monday to collect evidence proving that Frenkel should not be arrested.

Frenkel headed VIP Bank and co-founded Sodbiznesbank. Kozlov, whose job was to clean up the banking sector, revoked the licenses of both banks for crimes including money laundering.