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Murmansk Duma Speaker removed from position

Chairman of the Murmansk regional Duma Vasily Shambir (Photo from duma-murman.ru)

Chairman of the Murmansk regional Duma Vasily Shambir was today removed from his position by a court in Murmansk.

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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.