A court in Murmansk has approved the investigative committee’s request to have Shambir temporarily removed from his position while the investigation against him is going on. Shambir has two different criminal cases against him. He is accused of fraud of 42 million rubles (€872.257) from the joint stock company KOMZ (Kandalaksha Developmental Engineering Plant) while serving as General Director of the plant from 2007 to 2009, as BarentsObserver reported. Later he was accused of stealing 26 million rubles (€539.968) from Barentsbank in the same period.
The ruling will come into force in ten days. According to Shambir’s lawyer, the court ruling will be appealed, B-Port reports.
“The procedure of temporarily removing a leader from performing his official duties while an investigation is ongoing is stipulated by the current legislation. The court will make such a decision if it believes the investigators’ arguments are warranted”, Shambir commented but added that he did not agree with the grounds the decision was based on:
“I really tried to protect my good name and the reputation of the legislative branch of power in the region. I stood up against the complete breakdown of law and order that is happening here in Murmansk”, Shambir said in a comment on the Duma’s web site after the court meeting.
The company is closing down its biggest mine in the Kola Peninsula following plummeting raw material prices. Consequences will be dramatic for Zapolyarny, the industrial town located along the border to Norway.
August 9th, the Barents Region celebrated the UN International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. The day was commemorated in several parts of the region, including Karasjok in Northern Norway and Teriberka in Northwestern Russia.
“This sends a clear message to Russia that things aren’t so good when it comes to basic journalistic values in Norway either” The firing of BarentsObserver’s Editor Thomas Nilsen has led to massive reactions from journalists and other protectors of press freedom.