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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Court Keeps Mavrodi in Jail -- For Now

The Supreme Court has postponed indefinitely a decision on whether to release Sergei Mavrodi, the jailed president of the investment company MMM, a spokesman for the company said Wednesday. The postponement is intended to allow the judge time to ponder the matter.

The court convened Wednesday to consider the legality of the order of the Moscow prosecutor's office to extend the term of Mavrodi's detention despite his selection as a candidate for a vacant seat in the State Duma.

"This situation is not defined by any article of law, and the doubts of the Supreme Court are quite understandable," said Alexander Soloshenko, a lawyer for Mavrodi. "But I don't see why Sergei should wait in prison until Russian law sorts itself out."

Alexander Mitrofanov, a member of the State Duma from Vladimir Zhirinovsky's Liberal Democratic Party, said after the court session that Mavrodi's incarceration was an infringement of his rights to campaign, and that Mavrodi should be released in order to have the same rights as his opponents.

"We decided to raise the question on the State Duma session on Friday, and I think deputies will support our position," Mitrofanov said. "Otherwise a very dangerous precedent will be created, and any high-ranking official will be able to use it in order to get rid of unwanted opponents in an election."

Mavrodi was arrested early in August on charges of tax evasion.