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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Obstetrician Targeted for Murder

City Crime Statistics
 May 8-14 
Theft (total)734265
Apartment burglaries1427
Car theft3416
 For the Record 
Car accidents197
a) killed12
b) injured237
Public drunkenness3,649
Detained overnight278
Missing persons64
Bodies discovered54
*Police said statistics for May 11 were missing due to technical problems.
Source: Moscow police

Following a sting operation involving fake blood and fast-food potatoes, a Moscow businessman has been arrested on suspicion of ordering a contract hit on a prominent obstetrician who was overseeing the pregnancy of his wife.

Their daughter died shortly after birth.

Officers from the Interior Ministry's organized crime and terrorism department arrested the suspect on May 5 after he handed over money in exchange for evidence of the doctor's death to an undercover officer posing as a hired killer, the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry identified the suspect only as Igor B., a 37-year-old businessman, but national media identified him as Igor Brezho, a senior manager with a large Moscow construction company.

Brezho's wife turned to the doctor, Andrei Lipman, an obstetrician at the Snigeryov Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinic, two years ago when she was having complications with her pregnancy, authorities said. After the baby died, the couple filed several complaints of malpractice but were continually rebuffed by investigators, who found nothing wrong with the doctor's actions.

Recently, police were tipped off that Brezho was looking for someone to kill Lipman. Brezho promised an undercover policeman $11,000, and the doctor was spirited out of Moscow for his own protection, Izvestia reported.

"They told me I had to leave and drove me off to a little house that had been set aside in the [Moscow] region," Lipman told Channel One television last week.

Channel One reported that Lipman had been taken out of the city without telling colleagues or family, who contacted police after he had been missing for a week.

Lipman could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

It was at the small house, Lipman said, that he was forced to take part in an "unpleasant photo session" to produce photographs showing he had been knifed to death.

"I had to pretend to be a victim and lie on the ground with ketchup smeared all over me," Lipman told Channel One.

Brezho was arrested on Novokuznetskaya Ulitsa in central Moscow after he gave the money to the undercover officer in exchange for the photos, the Interior Ministry said.

The exchange took place at a table at one of the city's ubiquitous Kroshka Kartoshka fast-food potato stands, Kommersant reported.

Brezho has been charged with organizing a murder and could face up to life in prison if convicted. He maintains that he is innocent.