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Yaroslavl mayor to remain under arrest

October 02, 2013, 13:08 UTC+3

Yevgeny Urlashov's custody has been extended until December 3

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Photo ITAR-TASS/Anton Novoderezhkin

Photo ITAR-TASS/Anton Novoderezhkin

MOSCOW, October 2 (Itar-Tass) - Moscow City Court on Wednesday ruled to keep Yaroslavl mayor Yevgeny Urlashov, accused of corruption, under arrest until December 3.

"The court rules to uphold Basmanny court's resolution, extending Urlashov's custody to December 3 and not to grant the defence's application," the ruling said.

Urlashov participated in the Wednesday hearing via video link. Four regional legislators were present to lend him their support: Sergei Balabayev, Boris Nemtsov, Alexander Vorobyov and Alexander Leikin. Their personal guarantees were attached to Urlashov's case. However, the court did not meet the defense's petition to question the legislators.

Addressing the court, Urlashov's lawyer insisted that the investigator had no substantive reasons to keep their client in remand prison, and that the reasons cited in the case were formal.

"There are no injured parties in the case; it is unclear whose interests the investigator is protecting," the lawyer said.

The prosecutor asked the court to recognize the Basmanny court's resolution as legal and substantiated. Urlashov is accused of the commission of a serious crime, and might escape or destroy evidence if at large, she said.

The defendant insisted on his innocence. " I believe it's a political put-up job. I never took any money," he said noting that an expert examination of soundtracks "did not find any evidence of my guilt or bribe-taking."

Urlashov underlined that he would not leave the country as he wish to "come back and work as mayor."

On July 16, Urlashov was convoyed to a pre-trial detention center in Moscow, representative of the regional department of the Federal Penitentiary Service Alexander Kruglov told Tass.

"Today, Yevgeny Urlashov was convoyed to Moscow and is now under the supervision of the Federal Penitentiary Service department for Moscow," Kruglov said. The criminal case against the mayor had been passed to the Investigative Committee's department for the Central Federal District, which required his transfer to the Russian capital.

On July 15, the Yaroslavl region court upheld the mayor's arrest.

Urlashov was arrested on July 5. Attempted bribery charges were brought against the mayor, his deputy Dmitry Donskov, head of Town Hall's agency for municipal procurements Maxim Poikalainen, and mayor's advisor Alexei Lopatin. Andrei Zakharov was accused of "attempted mediation of bribe."

In the second criminal case, the mayor is accused of taking a 500,000-rouble bribe from an entrepreneur for dropping Town Hall's claims against his firm. There is a video attached to the criminal case materials showing Urlashov's meeting with the businessman and his taking the money.

The mayor denied wrongdoing.

Urlashov is a former member of the ruling United Russia Party. He planned to lead the regional list of the Civil Platform Party at the upcoming elections to the regional parliament on September 8. He has been Yaroslavl mayor since April 11, 2012.

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