Russian crime boss 'flees during jail verdict'
One of the leaders of a Russian organised crime gang on trial for eight murders on Monday escaped from police in Saint Petersburg as he was being sentenced to 12 years in jail.
Ivan Shikarenko, described as a boss of a criminal group known as the "property agents" managed to give his guards the slip during a break in proceedings during which he had been allowed to smoke a cigarette.
He had been sentenced to 12 years in a high-security prison camp and the judge was going through the full details of the verdict. "He went out to smoke but never came back from the cigarette break," a source told the agency.
In a major case, a total of 21 suspects were given jail sentences of between four and 24 years for the murders of eight people between 2006-2008. They killed their victims to take possession of their apartments with false documents.
© 2011 AFP