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Former Head Of Russia's Mari El Region Detained On Bribery Charges

Leonid Markelov, the head of the Mari El region, in 2014

A Russian regional governor who was dismissed by President Vladimir Putin last week has been detained on charges of bribe-taking.

Lawyers for the former Mari El region chief, Leonid Markelov, and a businessman accused of giving him a bribe said on April 13 that Markelov was expected to be brought to Moscow and that searches were being conducted.

The Kremlin said on April 6 that Putin had accepted Markelov's resignation and dismissed him, giving no explanation for the move.

Markelov, 53, had led Mari El -- a region on the Volga River with a population of 700,000 -- since 2001.

On April 4, Putin fired the head of the nearby Udmurtia region after he was arrested on charges of bribe-taking.

With reporting by Interfax and RIA Novosti
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