Friday, 5 March 2010

Russian gas chief’s death a mystery > print version

Russia's gas industry is puzzling over the mysterious death of Trans Nafta chairman Vladimir Kondrachuk, who was found with a bullet wound to the head in his Moscow office. Police say the death was a suicide, but colleagues disputed this version of events.

Kondrachuk's body was discovered at about 10:40 pm on Feb. 27 by one of Trans Nafta's security guards, who went up to Kondrachuk's office after hearing a shot, Kommersant reported, citing police sources. Kondrachuk was lying dead in a rest room adjacent to his office, with a 5.45 millimetre gun next to him. The entry wound was just under his jaw, and there was no suicide note, the paper reported.

Officials have ruled out foul play. "There is no [evidence] of murder.

A check is underway, all circumstances of what happened are being clarified," the head of Moscow's Investigative Committee Anatoly Bagmet was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying.
Colleagues said they could not believe Kondrachuk killed himself.

"Volodya [was] a very strong person who was capable of solving any problem," Kommersant quoted Trans Nafta general director Sergei Stepanov as saying. "The incident is an accident," he said, adding there had been "positive" talks on the day of his death about progress over the week.

Kondrachuk and his relatives controlled 80 per cent of Trans Nafta shares. The company he founded in 1997 trades gas and controls 15 mineral plants across Russia.

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