Sunday, 19 June 2011

Contract Killing Suspected In Briton's Ukraine Death

LONDON, England -- A millionaire British businessman is feared to have been the victim of a ‘contract killing' on the night he celebrated his first wedding anniversary with his internet bride.
Barry Pring, 47, was hit by a car doing 128 km/h (80 mi/h) as he waited for a cab on the hard shoulder of a deserted dual-carriageway in Ukraine.
The car's lights were switched off at the time of impact and debris at the scene included false number plates and a bogus taxi sign.
Initially the case was treated as a "hit and run accident" but police are now investigating the theory that Pring was deliberately targeted.
And senior police sources in Ukraine said that the case is close to being upgraded to a murder inquiry.
Foreign Secretary William Hague has been told the local mafia could have been involved.
Pring's widow Anna Ziuzina, 29, was at his side a few minutes before he died.
She had left the spot to fetch her gloves from a nearby restaurant, where they had just enjoyed a romantic meal.
She vehemently denies having anything to do with her husband's death and police inquiries will need to consider whether she was the target.
The woman, a former stripper, who Pring met through an online dating agency, never lived in Britain during their marriage.
However, she has been granted legal aid to fund her claim for a share of her husband's £1.5 million ($2.4 million) estate.
On Friday night her mother, Olga, said: "When Anna married Barry, she had no information about his financial position. They fell in love. It was a normal relationship. Anna did not know he was wealthy until after he died. His death was a tragedy for Anna, and for all of us."
For more than three years, detectives in Ukraine have been investigating Pring's death in February 2008, details of which have never previously been reported.
But amid allegations of police corruption, incompetence and a cover-up, no one has been brought to justice.
The probe was quietly closed last year but was reopened this January after the victim's family and their MP, Neil Parish, put pressure on the Ukrainian ambassador in London.
Hague has been told in parliament there are "possible mafia connections in the case".

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