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Primorye legislature speaker resigns amid fraud scandal

May 03, 2012, 17:56 UTC+3
On April 29, he was detained by law-enforcement agents. On the same day, a court ruled on house arrest as the measure of restraint for him
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Photo ITAR-TASS

Photo ITAR-TASS

VLADIVOSTOK, May 3 (Itar-Tass) — Speaker of the legislative assembly of the Primorye Territory Yevgeny Ovechkin resigned on Thursday amidst accusations of fraud. The statement of resignation, which he wrote of his own accord, will be reviewed at the next session of the assembly, the press service of the Primorye parliament told Itar-Tass.

A criminal case over grand fraud against Ovechkin was opened on April 28. His office was searched. The investigator said the suspect had fraudulently come in possession of petroleum products worth 38 million roubles belonging to a commercial firm in 2008, and used them at his discretion.

On April 29, he was detained by law-enforcement agents. On the same day, a court ruled on house arrest as the measure of restraint for him.

At present, the investigator is ascertaining all the circumstances of the crime. Searches has been conducted, documents retrieved and witnesses questioned.

Ovechkin, 49, has been speaker of the regional parliament since December 16, 2011. In 2004 through 2007, he was deputy governor of the Primorye territory and then headed the board of directors of the "Far Eastern Industrial-Construction Company."

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