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Raul Arashukov has been accused of using his official position to create a criminal group, among other charges.

A Moscow district court has ordered the detention of the father of a ruling-party lawmaker who is being held on murder charges by authorities who suspect he was behind two contract killings in the North Caucasus region of Karachai-Cherkessia in 2010.

With the January 31 ruling, Raul Arashukov, an adviser to the chief executive of a Gazprom subsidiary and the father of upper parliament house member Rauf Arashukov, will be held until March 30, Judge

Yelena Lenskaya said in the court ruling.

Raul Arashukov, 59, is suspected of fraud and of using his official position to create a criminal group

He has also been accused of stealing 30 million rubles ($453 million) worth of natural gas over several years.

His son was taken into custody at a session of the Federation Council, the Russian parliament's upper chamber, on January 30 after lawmakers agreed to strip him of his immunity from prosecution.

Russian lawmaker Rauf Arashukov in a Moscow court on January 30.
Russian lawmaker Rauf Arashukov in a Moscow court on January 30.

The younger Arashukov, 32, was charged with murder, participation in a "criminal community," and witness-tampering.

The Moscow district court has ordered that he also be held until March 30 and could face life in prison if convicted of murder.

He is suspected of involvement in the 2010 killings of Fral Shebzukhov, an adviser to the leader of Karachai-Cherkessia at the time, and Aslan Zhukov, the deputy chairman of a youth movement in the mostly Muslim region, the committee said.

Both victims were shot; Shebzukhov was also beaten with a baseball bat.

Raul Arashukov is a lawmaker in Karachai-Cherkessia and has worked as an adviser to the CEO of Mezhregiongaz, an affiliate of state-controlled gas giant Gazprom, since 2011.

With reporting by TASS and Interfax

AQTAU, Kazakhstan -- A prosecutor has asked a court in Kazakhstan's western city of Aqtau to sentence Kazakh activist Aigul Aqberdieva to five years of "freedom limitation" -- a suspended sentence with parolelike restrictions.

Aqberidieva, 39, is accused of using the social-media accounts of the banned Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan (DVK) movement to call for the “forceful overthrow of the government."

Her high-profile trial in September, four days after her 45-year-old husband, Ablovas Zhumaev, was found guilty of the same charge and sentenced to three years in prison.

Both Aqberidieva and her husband pleaded not guilty to the charges against them and called their cases politically motivated.

The couple has four children, the youngest of whom is 2 years old.

Kazakhstan banned the DVK in March last year after deeming it an extremist organization.

The political movement was founded by fugitive former banker Mukhtar Ablyazov, a vocal critic of President Nursultan Nazarbaev.

In November, a Kazakh court sentenced Ablyazov in absentia to life in prison for murder, a charge he denied and labeled politically motivated.

Opponents and rights groups say that Nazarbaev, who has held power in the Central Asian nation since before the 1991 Soviet breakup, has taken systematic steps to suppress dissent and sideline potential opponents.

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.

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