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Russian millionaire who shot man dead ‘thinking it was a bear’ avoids jail

Russian millionaire who shot man dead ‘thinking it was a bear’ avoids jail

Igor Redkin is set to spend two months under house arrest while the investigation continues

A Russian millionaire and former politician has been spared jail after shooting a man dead, claiming he thought the victim was a bear.

Igor Redkin, 55, who was previously a member of Vladimir Putin's ruling party, claimed that he heard a bear nearby his home in Kamchatka, and proceeded to shoot a warning shot in an apparent attempt to scare it away.

As BBC News report, Redkin then 'learned that a local resident was wounded in the area at about the same time', after he claimed to have fired at the bear.

“I open the hatch, stand here, turn on the thermal imager and look through it."

“What's there? I saw a bear," he stated when giving his side of the story to detectives investigating the case.

“The gun is ready for shooting with a thermal imager…I took aim, and hit the bear with the first shot."

The 30-year-old victim, who has been named as father-of-one Andrey Tolstopyatov, later passed away in hospital.

The man was hit in the abdomen by the stray bullet, which was fired from Redkin's £30,000 hunting rifle.

Andrey Tolstopyatov, who was shot dead by Redkin in mysterious circumstances.

Following the opening of a criminal case against the owner of several companies in the region, Redkin was expelled from the United Russian Party - and ousted as an MP.

However, he has managed to avoid a possible 15-year prison sentence for 'premeditated murder', after his charges were downgraded to 'death by negligence'.

Redkin has since been placed under house arrest while the investigation into the mystery death continues.

The judge in the case explained the decision to downgrade his charges, stating that the accused had shown contrition - and has already admitted guilt.

“The court took into account his active assistance in solving and investigating the crime and moral damages paid to the victims,” they said. 

Redkin will avoid serious jail time.

Redkin's lawyer Olga Struchenko claim the then MP had scared away two bears and the fatal incident happened when he 'saw a third'.

"He was sure that he was shooting a bear, there were no people in sight,” she said. 

“It was only later that he found out that a man had been shot.”

In 2021, he was ranked 20th in the Forbes list of Russia’s wealthiest public officials and politicians. 

According to reports out of Russia, the business tycoon also paid a total of £410,000 to the wife and mother of the victim, with the former publicly describing her late husband as a 'beacon of light'.

Mr Redkin is the co-owner of several large businesses in the Kamchatka peninsula and is thought to have a personal wealth of several million.

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Featured Image Credit: KAMCHATKA LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY /Shutterstock

Topics: World News, Russia, Vladimir Putin, Politics, Crime, True crime