Gambling baron sentenced to 14 years

Rade Kotur, the infamous Swedish gangster known as in the Swedish press as “Spelkungen” (The Gambling King), was sentenced to 14-years-in prison by the Gothenburg District Court on Thursday.

He was convicted for instigating murder, illicit gambling, and serious economic crimes.

Nenad Misovic, a 36-year-old hit man already convicted to life in prison for carrying out a murder Kotur is said to have ordered, was also convicted on Thursday of attempted murder.

Misovic’s life sentence covers his conviction for the new charges, the court said in a statement.

Of the additional 11 defendants in the case, nine received sentences ranging from two years in prison to suspended sentences and community service. Two of those charged were acquitted of all charges.

The court’s ruling is thought to be a huge success for the prosecutor who had great difficulty getting witnesses to testify against Kotur during the trial.

Many went into hiding and then fled the country out of fear of repercussions from Kotur, who ruled his gaming machine empire with an iron fist.

In November 2007, police raided Kotur’s illegal gambling operations at 150 locations across the country. Shortly thereafter, the Gambling King was arrested in England.

He was charged for operating close to 600 illegal slot machines, which were estimated to have generated 460 million kronor ($52.2 million) in revenues in three years.

During the four month trial against Kotur and his 12 accomplices, which began in August 2008, prosecutors had argued for a lifetime prison sentence.