LONDON — British police released grainy photos on Monday of a man suspected of shooting a former Russian banker near London’s Canary Wharf financial district in a case that has raised fears that Russian gangland violence could be spreading to Britain.
Financier German Gorbuntsov, 45, was shot five times as he entered a block of apartments where he lives near the River Thames in the east of the capital on March 20.
He survived the attack but was critically injured and is recovering in the hospital. His condition is described as stable.
London’s police have made no arrests in the case and say they are keeping an open mind about the motive.
The inquiry has so far focused primarily on organized crime connections in Russia, according to unconfirmed British media reports.
Gorbuntsov had been due to give evidence in an investigation into the attempted murder of a former business associate, his lawyer said last month.
More than a month after the shooting, police released grainy security camera images of a man they believe tried to murder Gorbuntsov, who once owned four Russian banks.
The pictures, taken by a surveillance camera moments after the shooting, show a tall white man wearing a dark hooded top and carrying a bag.
Detectives found a gun, bag and hooded top near the scene.
“We are continuing to examine CCTV [closed circuit television] footage from the area and are keen to speak with anyone who may have information about the shooting,” said police detective Russell Taylor, who is leading the investigation.
“Did you see anyone acting suspiciously in the area? Did you see the man in the CCTV stills taking off a dark hooded top or leaving a bag?” he said.
Diplomatic relations between Russia and Britain have been tested by a series of disputes involving Russian emigres.
The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office has refused to extradite State Duma Deputy Andrei Lugovoi, who is suspected of murdering former Federal Security Service officer Alexander Litvinenko by putting radioactive polonium in his tea in London.
Lugovoi has denied having any role in Litvinenko’s death. Late last year, Russian investigators said Lugovoi had also become sick in the episode.