MOSCOW, September 29 (RAPSI) – Investigators have filed a motion to extend detention of ex-Governor of Russia’s Khabarovsk Krai Sergey Furgal charged with masterminding murders in 2004-2005, the Moscow City Court’s press service has told RAPSI.

The petition is scheduled for October 1.

Investigation into Furgal was completed in February. He is already in detention for more than a year.

Investigators believe Furgal took decisions to commit the crimes in order to move forward his personal business interests. According to the Investigative Committee, the murder of entrepreneur Yevgeny Zorya was connected with a long conflict with Furgal and court proceedings over a concrete plant purchased by Zorya. The victim had been killed a day before an obvious verdict was delivered, investigators state.

One more alleged victim of Furgal was his partner Oleg Bulatov. After his murder, the defendant acquired his share in their common business, a company engaged in buy-in and resale of scrap iron, , according to the investigation.

Investigators claim that the former Governor of Russia’s Khabarovsk Krai was involved in the attempted assassination of scrap iron businessman Alexander Smolsky outbidding competitors. 

Moreover, a local resident Roman Sandalov was killed for commercial reasons. A driver of Furgal took the rap.

Furgal was arrested on July 9. According to investigators, all crimes were committed by an organized criminal group led by Furgal in Russia’s Khabarovsk and Amur Regions in 2004-2005. Earlier, four alleged members of the gang were arrested and placed in detention.

Born in the Amur Region, Furgal worked as general physician at a hospital more than 6 years before the start of his political career. After being discharged from healthcare in 1999, he went in for business, according to his biography on the Khabarovsk Krai government’s website. He was elected as the State Duma lawmaker three times.

In September 2018, he was elected as a Khabarovsk Region governor by popular vote.