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The main suspect in the murder of a top Russian banking
The main suspect in the murder of a top Russian banking regulator is being put under pressure in prison, his lawyer said Monday.

Prosecutors arrested Alexei Frenkel in January in connection with the murder of former first deputy Central Bank chairman Andrei Kozlov.

Kozlov, 41, who oversaw bank licensing and had led efforts to close down dozens of banks for violations of banking legislation, particularly on money laundering, was shot dead along with his driver on September 13, 2006. Kozlov had closed down Frenkel's VIP Bank three months prior to the murder.

"My defendant has been put in an isolation cell for 10 days for violation of regulations," Viktor Parshutkin said, adding that Frenkel had been accused of passing notes between cells. The lawyer said he would appeal the decision.

Parshutkin said he believes the move was an attempt to put pressure on Frenkel to try to force him to familiarize himself with the case materials more promptly.

This is not the first time that Frenkel has been placed in the isolation cell. In October, he was incarcerated for 15 days after being accused of drinking alcohol.

Following his arrest, Frenkel, who could face life in prison, published two letters accusing the Central Bank of accepting bribes in exchange for allowing banks to join the deposit insurance system. Prosecutors are investigating Frenkel's accusations.

In all, seven suspects are now in custody for their alleged involvement in Kozlov's murder, including Liana Askerova, a restaurant owner, whose testimony eventually led to Frenkel's arrest.


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