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Court to consider appeal against ex governor's house arrest Sept 21.

September 13, 2011, 11:48 UTC+3

Dudka's lawyer Vladimir Zherebyonkov noted in the complaint that the district court's decision is "unjustified and illegitimate"

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MOSCOW, September 13 (Itar-Tass) — The Moscow City Court will consider, on September 21, the appeal against the house arrest of former Tula region governor Vyacheslav Dudka, accused of taking a 40-million-rouble bribe, spokeswoman for the city's Basmanny court Yekaterina Korotova told Itar-Tass.

The Moscow City Court’s appeals board will consider the complaint by the defendant's lawyer against the Basmanny court's resolution at 11:15, Moscow time, on September 21," Korotova said.

Dudka's lawyer Vladimir Zherebyonkov noted in the complaint that the district court's decision is "unjustified and illegitimate", as it actually distorts the right to defense.

For example, the resolution states that the former governor can only communicate with family members or close relatives living in the same house. "That it, it follows from the resolution that communication with his lawyers is banned which deprives the defendant of skilled legal counseling while the defense has no opportunity to perform their professional and procedural duties," Zherebyonkov emphasized.

He underlined that under the Russian Constitution, the right to defense is direct and absolute, and is not subject to restrictions under any circumstances.

The lawyer also drew the court's attention to the fact that Dudka cannot make statements or addresses through the mass media. In passing this restriction, the court exceeded its authority, so the court's ruling on this account does not conform to the guarantees envisioned by Russia's Criminal Procedure Code.

"The unjustified bans aimed at losing Dudka the opportunity to voice his opinions though the e-reception rooms of the Russian president, the ombudsman, the Investigative Committee chairman, the prosecutor general and media outlets regarding the substance and evidence behind the charges, stripping him of the opportunity to lodge a petition, forward statements or complain about the investigator’s actions should be viewed as the failure to ensure the right to defense and deviation from the principles of openness and the adversary character of the judicial process," the lawyer said.

On September 6, Moscow's Basmanny court sanctioned house arrest of the former governor. The court placed a number of restrictions on him. At present, Dudka is staying in the village of Khomyakovo, Tula region.

On September 5, he was charged with taking a 40-million-rouble bribe.

The investigators said Dudka, together with the regional land and property department chief Viktor Volkov, passed a 2.5-hectare land plot to the GRINN corporation for the construction of a supermarket. The intermediary in taking the bribe from managing director of the GRINN Corporation private company Dmitry Dobrynin was Tula Parks state company director Andrei Stepanov.

On November 17, 2010, he received the whole sum from Dobrynin and kept it at his place.

On January 6, 2011, he gave away over 40 million roubles to agents of the Federal Security Service's regional department, who were taking measures to intercept the illegal actions by the bribe-takers Dudka and Volkov.

Criminal proceedings were opened against Stepanov over mediating the bribe, and against Dobrynin - over giving a bribe.

Dudka, a former troubleshooter at the site of the Chernobyl nuclear accident and a participant in designing and testing military equipment, has been Tula region governor since April 29, 2005. He replaced his predecessor Vasily Starodubtsev.

On July 29, 2011, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev accepted his voluntary resignation, and proposed Vladimir Gruzdev as new regional leader. Gruzdev was first deputy chairman of the committee on civil, criminal, arbitration and procedural legislation under the State Duma lower house of the Russian parliament. He is a member of the General Council of the ruling United Russia Party.

On August 29, Dudka was expelled from the United Russia Party for "actions discrediting the Party and damaging its political interests," after he demanded the payment of compensation for his voluntary resignation.

The article under which Dudka was charged envisions 7 to 12 years in prison with a possible additional fine up to one million roubles.

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