MOSCOW, June 3 (RIA Novosti) – The mayor of the capital of Russia’s restive Dagestan region, who was recently jailed on suspicion of having organized the murder of a local investigator, has denounced the case against him as politically motivated, his lawyer said Monday.
Said Amirov, mayor of the city of Makhachkala, in the Russian North Caucasus, was detained on June 1 and convoyed to Moscow, where a judge placed him under arrest.
The Investigative Committee said Saturday that a criminal case had been opened against him in connection with the December 2011 killing of investigator Arsen Gadzhibekov in the Dagestan city of Kaspiysk. More than 10 suspected accomplices have also been detained.
“Amirov considers his case ‘politically motivated,’” his lawyer, Mark Kruter, told the RAPSI legal news service on Monday, adding that the mayor had survived 15 attempts on his life since taking the post in 1998.
Amirov, a long-term member of the ruling United Russia party, won the title of Russia’s best mayor at a contest in late April.
Kruter said that after the appointment of Ramazan Abdulatipov as the republic’s acting head earlier this year and the subsequent reshuffle in the republic’s leadership, Amirov, who enjoys certain “authority and respect” in the region, might have become an “inconvenience” to certain people.
A police source said earlier that the detention came after a gunman, who was held in Makhachkala on Friday, told investigators about his links to the mayor.
The lawyer also criticized the judge’s decision to place Amirov under a two-month arrest because the 59-year-old requires special medical attention.
“By placing him under arrest, the judge has assumed enormous responsibility [for his life],” Kruter said. “He [Amirov] has both legs amputated; he is diagnosed with diabetes and may fall into a coma.”
Gadzhibekov, chief of the investigation department of Makhachkala’s Sovetsky District, was shot dead near his home as he was leaving his car. He had participated in solving a number of crimes, including the 2010 terror attack in Kizlyar that killed 10 and injured 270 others.