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Court orders two-month detention for senator accused of murder

Source: Interfax

Moscow’s Basmanny Court has ordered that Rauf Arashukov, a Russian senator accused of conspiracy and murder, be held in detention for two months. The senator was arrested under dramatic circumstances earlier today.

Attorneys for Arashukov asked that he be released on bail for 10 million rubles (just over $150,000) or held under house arrest. Prosecutors explained their request for detention under guard by claiming that Arashukov might attempt to flee to the United Arab Emirates, where he presumably holds real estate or has ties to someone who does.

Shortly after the prosecution’s request was accepted, defense attorneys requested that the hearing be closed to the public and the press, and the judge approved their motion. One defense lawyer said a closed hearing would protect his client’s safety; in his words, the senator “has received threats with demands that he plead guilty.”

Rauf Arashukov was arrested on January 30 on the floor of the Russian Federal Council shortly after being stripped of his legal immunity. The senator is accused of taking part in a criminal group that organized two murders and harassed witnesses but has not admitted guilt. On the day of Arashukov’s arrest, his father, Raul Arashukov, was also arrested on charges of stealing natural gas in quantities worth 3 billion rubles ($455.1 million).