Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Former spy shot dead near Putin's Moscow office


MOSCOW (Reuters) - Gunmen shot dead a former KGB spy turned basketball tycoon in his car Monday a few hundred meters from the Moscow office of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, officials said.

Shabtai von Kalmanovic, who went on to organize a Michael Jackson concert in Moscow and help two clubs win Europe's top basketball title, died at the scene, the state prosecutor's office said in a statement.

More than 20 shots were fired at Kalmanovic's Mercedes from a silver Lada a few hundred meters from the White House, the seat of Russia's government headquarters, state Russian television channel Vesti reported.

Kalmanovic's driver, who was wounded, gave chase to the attackers but had to abandon it because of his wounds, investigators said.

Kalmanovic spent five years in an Israeli prison for passing secret military technology to the KGB before being released in 1993, state media reported.


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