Investigator Says His Life Is in Danger

Dmitry Dovgy, a senior Investigative Committee official under investigation for possible corruption, has appealed to the Prosecutor General's Office for help, saying his life is in danger, Vremya Novostei reported Tuesday.

Dovgy, who heads the committee's main investigative unit, wrote in the letter that he trusted neither his boss, Investigative Committee head Alexander Bastrykin, nor his colleagues, the report said. Dovgy also wrote that he was being followed and that his home in Moscow was being watched, it said.

Prosecutor General's Office spokesman Viktor Potapov would neither confirm nor deny the existence of Dovgy's letter. "I can't say anything. No comment is my answer," Potapov said.

Dovgy and three other Investigative Committee staff have been suspended pending an "internal investigation," a committee spokeswoman said Tuesday.

"I can't say more than that at the moment," she said.

A spokeswoman for Dovgy, however, said he was working as usual.

National media reported that two senior investigators -- Sergei Chernyshov and Zigmund Lozhis -- have accused Dovgy of taking large bribes. Chernyshov said Dovgy accepted 2 million euros in exchange for releasing former Trust Bank chairman Oleg Kolyda from custody in an embezzlement case involving Yukos subsidiary Tomskneft, the reports said.

Lozhis accused Dovgy of accepting $1.5 million from a suspect in a criminal case involving the head of Moscow company Petro-Union, the reports said.

Analysts said the investigation into Dovgy could be linked with a battle between rival Kremlin clans that seeped out into the public last year.

Dovgy's office is leading the embezzlement case against jailed Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak and Alexander Bulbov, a senior Federal Drug Control Service officer arrested in October on corruption charges.

Both cases are widely seen as inextricably connected with the power struggle between the rival factions, both of which primarily consist of current or former security service officers.