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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
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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