Regional governor in Russia arrested on murder charges | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Regional governor in Russia arrested on murder charges

July 09, 2020 - 2:20 AM

MOSCOW - A provincial governor in Russia's far east has been arrested on charges of involvement in multiple murders, officials said Thursday.

Sergei Furgal, the governor of the Khabarovsk region along the border with China, was arrested in Khabarovsk and was flown to Moscow.

The Investigative Committee, the nation's top criminal investigation agency, said Furgal is accused of involvement in the murders of several businessmen in the region and nearby territories in 2004-2005.

Russian TV stations showed the video of Furgal's arrest, in which agents get the 50-year-old governor out of his car, search him and drive him away.

The Investigative Committee said that four of Furgal's suspected accomplices were also arrested.

Before becoming the governor of the Khabarovsk region in 2018, Furgal served as a federal lawmaker on the ticket of the Liberal-Democratic Party for a decade. In 2015-2016, he headed the public health committee in the lower house of parliament.

Liberal-Democratic Party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky criticized law-enforcement agencies over the arrest, arguing that there was no need to put Furgal in handcuffs.

The charges against Furgal date back to the period when he worked as a businessman with interests ranging from imports of consumer goods to timber and metals before launching his political career.

Following the 1991 Soviet collapse, Russia plunged into violent turf battles between rival criminal clans for control over business assets, and contract murders of businessmen were a regular occurrence during the 1990s and the early 2000s.

Alexander Khinshtein, the head of the information and communications committee in the lower house of parliament, said that Russian law-enforcement agencies long had been aware of Furgal's alleged criminal connections.

“I'm not surprised about his arrest, I'm surprised that it happened so late,” he tweeted.

News from © The Associated Press, 2020
The Associated Press

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