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Criminal leader gunned down in central Moscow

January 16, 2013, 16:02 UTC+3
Usoyan was attacked as he was walking out of a restaurant. The victim died in hospital's reception ward
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MOSCOW, January 16 (Itar-Tass) — Criminal leader Aslan Usoyan, also known as Ded Khasan has been assassinated in central Moscow, a police source told Itar-Tass. "Usoyan was attacked in Povarskaya Street as he was walking out of a restaurant. The victim died in hospital's reception ward.

Usoyan was killed by a sniper. "A passer-by received two gunshot wounds. She was rushed to hospital; her life is out of danger," the police officer said.

"Criminal wars are the main lead; the crime has been carefully planned; the killer set the ambush in advance knowing which restaurant Usoyan would visit, and opened fire as he emerged," he added.

A group of detectives is working at the scene. The detectives are examining the video recordings retrieved from CCTV cameras on nearby buildings.

It was the second attack on Usoyan in the past few years. On September 16, 2010, an unidentified person shot at him in the entrance hall of a house in Tverskaya Street.

The 73-year-old Usoyan, a native of Georgia, was one of the most influential criminal leaders of the past two decades. Media reports said he was an ally of Vyacheslav Ivankov /alias Yaponchik/, another criminal boss gunned down in Moscow in 2009.

Ded Khasan was detained in Ukraine in April 2010 for carrying a fake passport and deported to Russia where he was set free.

Criminal proceedings were opened over murder and illegal turnover of weapons, the press service of the Investigative Committee said.

Former Interior Minister Anatoly Kulikov believes the crime is related to another wave of redistribution in the criminal underworld. "In the 1990s, some criminals were imprisoned; they've been released now; but their places are occupied. So it's another redistribution; another wave," Kulikov told Echo Moscow radio.

Ded Khasan was first sentenced for 19 years. He reoffended repeatedly. "Usoyan has survived several assassination attempts. The SK is considering various leads, including the victim's criminal activity," investigators said.

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