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MOSCOW, January 22. /ITAR-TASS/. Moscow City Court on Wednesday upheld the suspension of Astrakhan mayor Mikhail Stolyarov, accused of taking a bribe.
Investigators said Stolyarov had demanded ten million roubles from a local businessman for allocating to him a 3,000-square-meter land plot for a construction project in October 2013.
After the court's ruling, the decision on the mayor's suspension came into effect. He might be reinstated if the court drops criminal proceedings against him or clears him of the charges.
The court agreed with the investigator's arguments that Stolyarov, when in office, might have "extensive opportunities" to put pressure on witnesses or create obstacles to the investigator or justice.
At the Wednesday hearing, his lawyer Osip Vysotsky called the suspension a "punitive measure," which was not legal. Stolyarov watched the hearing from a pre-trial detention center via video-link. He denied the charges again stating his willingness to cooperate with the investigators.
Stolyarov will remain in custody for two more months, per court's decision.