An alleged hitman rumored to have kept tycoon Oleg Deripaska in fear in the 1990s was jailed for masterminding a twin murder in Russia’s Krasnoyarsk region on Friday.
Vladimir Tatarenkov oversaw his subordinates shoot dead two men in 1994 whom he suspected of an attempt on the life of his ally, a prominent local businessman, investigators said. One of the subordinates was jailed earlier, the other is on the run.
The court sentenced Tatarenkov to 13-1/2 years in prison over the case. Tatarenkov, who pleaded not guilty, promised to appeal.
Tatarenkov was suspected of 15 murders, most of them as part of a gang war for control of Russia’s aluminum industry in the early 1990s, the Prosecutor General’s office said earlier.
He was even accused of running a criminal protection racket for the company of Oleg Deripaska, who controls Rusal, one of the world’s biggest aluminum producers, Gazeta.ru said last week, citing an ongoing lawsuit filed against Deripaska in London by a businessman seeking a share in Rusal.
Most allegations were never proven, but earned Tatarenkov the nickname “Aluminum Butcher” in the media.
Tatarenkov fled criminal persecution abroad in the 1990s, but was arrested and jailed in Greece in 1999 for document forgery and illegal firearms possession. After serving the sentence – he reportedly occupied a six-place cell all by himself and dabbled in poetry – he was extradited to Russia to be charged over the 1994 murder, the only case involving him that the investigators managed to send to court.