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VELIKY NOVGOROD, January 15 (Itar-Tass) - Ukraine has extradited to Russia an alleged criminal gang leader, Nikolai Kravchenko, who was charged with orchestrating a high-profile murder back in 1996, the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office said in a statement on Wednesday.
Kravchenko was on the international wanted list since 2009. He was detained last spring in Ukraine, where he had fled shortly before that hoping to obtain the status of a refugee. Ukraine refused to have him, though. Last November Ukraine gave the green light to the extradition of Kravchenko upon Russia’s request.
Investigators claim that Kravchenko, known in the Russian criminal world under the nickname of ‘Kolya the Devil’, led one of the criminal gangs in the Veliky Novgorod region, in central Russia. The Russian authorities hold him responsible for masterminding the murder of a local businessman.
The businessman was shot dead at a car fuelling station by two gunmen, acting on orders from Kravchenko, investigators said. One of the attackers was killed in 2000, while the other, Kravchenko’s bodyguard, was arrested and sentenced to 14 years in prison in 2010.