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Russia’s Investigative Committee reveals that jailed governor Sergey Furgal was arrested on suspicion of organizing killings in 2004

The Khabarovsk Territory’s now ex-governor Sergey Furgal and his business partner Nikolai Mistryukov were arrested as suspects in the murder of businessman Yevgeny Zorya back in 2004. The case was closed due to lack of evidence, the Investigative Committee revealed in a press release.

The press release claims that at the time, Frugal “put serious pressure on certain high-ranking police officers,” who informed him on the investigation’s progress, allowing him to hide evidence of his involvement in the crime.

While the Investigative Committee claims that this took place while Furgal was a deputy in the Khabarovsk Territory’s legislative assembly, he didn’t become a deputy until 2005. 

On July 9, the Khabarovsk Territory’s then-governor, Sergey Furgal, was arrested on suspicion of organizing multiple contract killings between 2004 and 2005. While the Investigative Committee previously stated that they had “incontrovertible evidence” of Furgal’s involvement in the crime, he has denied all accusations. 

On July 20, Putin formalized Furgal’s dismissal and named Mikhail Degtyarev, a State Duma deputy from the Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR), the acting governor of the Far Eastern Khabarovsk Territory.

Mass protests have been ongoing in Khabarovsk since July 11, when tens of thousands of people took to the streets in support of Furgal. Protesters are demanding that he undergo a jury trial in Khabarovsk, rather than going to court in Moscow.