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Moscow Court Rejects Jailed Former Governor's Appeal Against Detention Extension


Former Khabarovsk regional Governor Sergei Furgal (center) attends a court hearing in Moscow earlier this year.

A court in Moscow has rejected the appeal of Sergei Furgal, the former governor of the Far Eastern Khabarovsk Krai region, against the extension of his pretrial detention after he was charged with attempted murder and ordering two killings in 2004-2005.

The First Court of Appeals in the Russian capital ruled on July 29 that the Moscow City Court's July 5 decision to extend Furgal's pretrial detention until October 7 was valid.

Furgal reiterated his innocence and stressed that he cannot receive the necessary medical treatment in the Lefortovo detention center for pneumonia that he developed after contracting COVID-19 while in custody.

"I was not given any reason [for being refused proper medical assistance]. No evidence was presented that would link me to the crimes I was charged with," Furgal said.

Furgal, of the nationalist Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, was elected in 2018 in a runoff that he won handily against the region's longtime incumbent from the Kremlin-backed ruling United Russia party.

His arrest on July 9 last year sparked mass protests in the Khabarovsk Krai's capital, Khabarovsk, and several other towns and cities in the region. These demonstrations by his supporters have been held almost daily for many months.

The protests highlight growing discontent in the Far East over what demonstrators see as Moscow-dominated policies that often neglect their views and interests.

President Vladimir Putin's popularity has been declining as the Kremlin tries to deal with an economy suffering from the coronavirus pandemic and years of ongoing international sanctions.

Based on reporting by TASS and Interfax
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