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Russian Court Upholds Governor's Sacking Of Altai Krai Mayor

BARNAUL, Russia -- The suspended mayor of a central Russian city has had his appeal for reinstatement rejected in court, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Neither the former mayor of Barnaul, Vladimir Koganov, nor the governor of Altai Krai who sacked him, Aleksandr Karlin, were present in the courtroom for the proceedings.

Karlin removed Koganov on August 12 for allegedly "not fulfilling his responsibilities."

Many residents of the city were angered by the governor's decision, and 16 members of the city council resigned in protest.

Koganov's representatives presented more than 150 documents to show that the mayor did, in fact, fulfill his duties while in office.

Court bailiffs declared that Koganov had not fulfilled eight of his 12 mayoral obligations -- including not providing new housing for residents and eliminating illegal dumping grounds.

City government representatives claim the authorities handing down the judgment were not allowed to make final rulings.

Aleksei Oskin, Koganov's lawyer, said his client was not at the trial because he is considered a biased party. Oskin claims the September 8 ruling was made illegally and says they plan to appeal the decision.

Kolganov said the only people who can oust him from his post are the citizens who elected him. He said he is willing to take his case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.