Sweden's Spelkungen in a Game for His LifePublished August 9, 2008 by OCR Editor
In what is set to become one of Sweden's most watched gangster trials, the Gambling King, Rode Kotur, faces charges of conspiracy to murder and attempted murder.
Sweden's Spelkungen (Gambling King), Rode Kotur, 55, is currently involved in the game of his life, as he stands trial in Gothenburg for conspiracy to murder and attempted murder. Kotur is suspected of involvement in the 2003 killing of Ratko Djokic, The Godfather, who operated a rival gambling operation at the time, and also of ordering the killing of a another man in 2002.
Kotur denies the allegations against him.
Born in the former Yugoslavia, Kotur settled in Sweden in the 1970s and spent the following two decades building up the RK Company, which operated automated poker and slot machines throughout Sweden. According to a 2005 report, RK's gaming-machines business constituted a large part of Sweden's estimated $820 million illegal gambling market.
Aside from his current murder trial, Kotur is also likely to be in court later in August to face tax-evasion charges. Kotur was arrested in Britain in November 2007 following a raid on his suspected illegal gambling operations in which 400 slot machines were confiscated from 150 different locations throughout Sweden.
Meanwhile, one the biggest problem facing the prosecution in the murder trial lies in convincing various key witnesses to testify in the case. "People who are deeply entrenched in the gangster world refuse to testify," commented chief prosecutor Krister Petersson. "And witnesses who come forward change or withdraw their testimony."