MOSCOW, September 14 (Itar-Tass) — A criminal case was opened over a stabbing attack on former governor of the Nenets autonomous area Vladimir Butov in downtown Moscow, a spokesman for Moscow police administration told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.
The incident took place on September 9 when Butov was about to have dinner at a restaurant in the centre of the city. Three young men came up to Butov and one of them stabbed him twice. Butov was taken to an intensive care ward in serious condition. The search for the attackers is underway.
Police investigators say that most likely the governor was attacked by petty street ruffians, although it is not ruled out that it was a contract assault.
Previously, Butov was implicated in judicial matters. On December 31, 2004, a St. Petersburg court gave the man a suspended sentence of three years in prison on charges of using force against a policeman. The criminal case against Butov and his two bodyguards was initiated by a traffic police officer who claimed he was beaten up after he did not let Butov’s car join the presidential motorcade.
Vladimir Butov, a businessman, was elected head of administration of the Nenets autonomous area by general vote in December 1996 and in January 2001. He was denied registration as a candidate for the post in the third gubernatorial elections, since the region’s law prohibit to take the office for more than two consecutive terms.