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Court authorizes arrest of Vladivostok mayor on charges of grafting, appeal impending

June 03, 2:02 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The current authorization for arrest stays in effect though to July 31
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MOSCOW, June 3. /TASS/. Moscow City’s Basmanny district court on Thursday authorized arrest of Igor Pushkaryov, the mayor of Vladivostok who had been detained in his home city and taken to Moscow for legal proceedings.

The current authorization for arrest stays in effect though to July 31.

Also on Thursday, the same court passed a resolution to arrest Andrei Lushnikov, the director of the Dorogi Vladivostoka (Vladivostok Roads) road construction and maintenance enterprise.

An investigator who attended the hearings at the Basmanny court told TASS Lushnikov had given the evidence fully attesting to Pushkaryov’s guilt.

"His involvement in the crimes he is accused of has been confirmed by evidence, including the one provided by the defendant Lushnikov," he said adding that Lushnikov had admitted his own guilt.

Investigators insist that Pushkaryov arranged the purchase of large amounts of building materials by Dorogi Vladivostoka from the Vostoktsement group of companies in the period of 2009 through to 2014. They also say Vostoktsement is controlled by Pushkaryov’s close relatives, while the city administration of Vladivostok is its founder and owner.

The building materials were obtained at overblown prices and the transaction supposedly brought no less than 45 million rubles (about $ 672,000 at the current exchange rate) to Pushkaryov personally.

Investigation believes this activity inflicted a damage of more than 158 million rubles ($ 2.36 million) and the accrual of liabilities exceeding 800 million rubles ($ 11.9 million).

Also, it is believed that Pushkaryov handed no less than 1.4 million rubles to Lushnikov (about $ 209,000) by way of peddling influence. In return, the latter man arranged the purchases of building materials for the repairs and maintenance of municipal roads in Vladivostok from Vostoktsement, thus acting in interests of this company and Pushkaryov personally.

Pushkaryov’s lawyer Alexander Vysotsky said he was surprised with the court’s resolution to arrest his client.

"As a lawyer, I hoped for a different outcome because if someone interprets the law along the lines the Supreme Court of Russia does, then the judges should have chosen a pretrial measure that wouldn’t invoke deprivation of liberty," he said. "I’ll file an appeal within the next three days."

In parallel with the authorization of Pushkaryov’s arrest, the court turned down his lawyers’ petitions to release him on bail or place under house arrest.

Investigators in Russia’s Far-Eastern Primorsky (Maritime) territory, which Vladivostok is the main city of, refused to institute a criminal case against Pusharyov earlier.

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