Ex-Mayor Seeks Duma Seat From Jail

Ex-Mayor Seeks Duma Seat From Jail

Published: October 26, 2011 (Issue # 1680)

MOSCOW — A former Siberian mayor accused of extorting a half million-dollar bribe is running for a State Duma seat from jail, a Communist deputy said Monday.

Former Bratsk Mayor Alexander Serov received the paperwork confirming his candidacy Friday.

Serov was detained in February after obtaining what investigators said was a bribe of 15 million rubles ($510,000) from an Irkutsk businessman.

Serov, who later resigned as mayor, faces up to 12 years in prison if convicted, yet maintains his innocence.

Duma Deputy Sergei Obukhov said his colleagues in the Communist Party witnessed Serov’s detention and “how the evidence was falsified.” 

He also said Serov enjoys “enormous” public support including rallies attended by thousands of people.

The 2005 federal law on Duma elections doesn’t ban candidates under criminal investigation or convicts from running, but requires candidates to reveal this information to election officials.

The Communist Party has asked election officials, the Investigative Committee and prosecutors to assist Serov with his campaign, including meetings with journalists and the public, from behind bars, Interfax reported.

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