Investigators have indicted Yaroslavl Mayor Yevgeny Urlashov and four of his subordinates for corruption, Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said.
"Urlashov, his deputy Dmitry Donskov, head of the city hall municipal order agency Maxim Poikalainen, and mayoral aide Alexei Lopatin have been indicted for an attempt to accept a large-scale bribe by a group of people through extortion, and Andrei Zakharov for an attempt to act as a go-between in bribery," Markin told Interfax on Thursday.
Urlashov was detained on July 3, a day after the announcement that he would top the list of the Civil Platform in the elections to the local legislature.
The official website of Yaroslavl city authorities reports that on Tuesday the mayor met representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) who discussed the political situation in the city and region with him behind closed doors.
Urlashov, his deputy Dmitry Donskov, his adviser Alexei Lopatin and senior mayoral official Maxim Poikalainen were put behind bars on suspicion of attempted conspiracy-based bribe extortion.
Investigators claim that, between December 2012 and July 2, 2013, Urlashov and the three others were demanding that the chief executive of a company share with them a sum that had been paid to his firm under a contract.
They were threatening that the company wouldn't be paid what was due it under another contract if he didn't cough up the 14 million rubles they were allegedly pressing him for, it is claimed.
Markin had told Interfax earlier that some of the suspects were providing testimony implicating the mayor, and one of the suspects accepted a plea bargain proposal. He said also that the investigators would seek Urlashov's arrest.
Lawyer Sergei Golubenkov said Urlashov had started to provide testimony. Another lawyer, Mikhail Pisarets, had said earlier that Urlashov had not pled guilty and declined a plea bargain proposal.
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