Ex-Russian banker hurt in London shooting

Story highlights

  • Police confirm Russian man German Gorbuntsov was shot outside his London home
  • The 45-year-old remains in a critical but stable condition, the Metropolitan Police say
  • Russian media reports say he is a former Russian and Moldovan bank owner
  • British media draw links between this case and the murder of a former Russian spy in London
Former Russian banker German Gorbuntsov remains in critical but stable condition in a hospital after a shooting in London's East End, UK police said Saturday.
He was returning home Tuesday evening when he was attacked by a man armed with a submachine gun, Russia's Kommersant daily reported online.
London's Metropolitan Police said Gorbuntsov, 45, was shot a number of times as he entered an apartment building on Byng Street in the Isle of Dogs area, near the Canary Wharf business district.
The suspect is described as white, 6 feet tall and of slim build. He was wearing a dark hooded top and was seen running away from the scene.
The London skyline, showing Canary Wharf, where a man in his 40s was shot as he returned home Tuesday evening.
Detectives are treating the shooting as attempted murder, a police statement said. No arrests have yet been made and details have not been given of the weapon used in the attack.
"The shooting is not thought to be gang related or linked to any other incidents" in the area, the police statement said. "Officers retain an open mind regarding the motive for the attack at this time."
The police have not revealed in which hospital Gorbuntsov is being treated.
They have appealed for anyone with information regarding the case to get in touch.
Kommersant cited Gorbuntsov's Russian lawyer, Vadim Vedenin, as saying the attack could be linked to an ongoing investigation into the attempted murder of another Russian banker, Aleksandr Antonov, in Moscow in 2009.
Gorbuntsov reportedly formerly owned banks in Russia and Moldova, a former Soviet republic which gained independence from Russia in 1991.
Russia's state news agency RIA Novosti reports that Gorbuntsov is wanted in Moldova on several charges, including an illegal bank takeover and embezzlement.
But Gorbuntsov's Moldovan lawyer Valery Andronik told Kommersant that his client believed any threat to his safety came from within Russia.
He is among a number of well-connected Russians, some of them at odds with Vladimir Putin's government, to have moved to London in recent years.
British media have drawn links between this latest potential assassination attempt and the poisoning death of a dissident former Russian spy in London in 2006.
Alexander Litvinenko, a vehement critic of President Putin, was a former KGB agent who came to Britain in 2000 after turning whistle-blower on the FSB, the KGB's successor.
He died at a London hospital November 23, 2006, after being poisoned by the radioactive material polonium-210. In a deathbed statement he blamed Putin, an accusation the Kremlin has strongly denied.
Authorities in London want Russia to extradite Andrei Lugovoi, suspected in the killing, but Russia has repeatedly refused.