Police hope grainy photos catch banker's shooter

LONDON Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:37am BST

A suspected gunman is seen walking along Manilla Street in London on March 20, 2012 in this handout still image taken from CCTV released on April 23, 2012. British police released grainy photos on April 23, 2012 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 flats where he lives near the River Thames in the east of the capital on March 20. REUTERS/Metropolitan Police/Handout (BRITAIN - Tags: CRIME LAW)

A suspected gunman is seen walking along Manilla Street in London on March 20, 2012 in this handout still image taken from CCTV released on April 23, 2012. British police released grainy photos on April 23, 2012 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 flats where he lives near the River Thames in the east of the capital on March 20.

Credit: Reuters/Metropolitan Police/Handout (BRITAIN - Tags: CRIME LAW)

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LONDON (Reuters) - The 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 flats 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 hospital where his condition was described as stable.

London's Metropolitan Police have made no arrests in the case and say they are keeping an open mind about the motive. The inquiry is focusing on organised crime in Russia, according to unconfirmed media reports.

Gorbuntsov had been due to give evidence in an investigation into the attempted murder of a former business associate, his lawyer told Reuters 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 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," Detective Chief Inspector Russell Taylor, who is leading the investigation, said.

"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?"

Diplomatic relations between Russia and Britain have been tested by a series of disputes involving Russian emigres.

Russia has refused to extradite the man suspected of murdering former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko by putting radioactive polonium in his tea in London.

(Reporting by Peter Griffiths; Editing by Michael Roddy)

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