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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ilyushenko Jail Stay Extended 3 Months

Alexei Ilyushenko, the former acting prosecutor general, will spend at least three more months in Moscow's Lefortovo prison while he is being investigated on corruption charges, the prosecutor's office said Tuesday.


Ilyushenko has been held in a Lefortovo cell since February, when he was charged with bribe taking and abuse of office. His stay there has been extended twice before -- once in April, another time in June.


Russia's top legal officer was fired by President Boris Yeltsin last October after the State Duma twice refused to confirm his appointment as prosecutor general, branding him as both corrupt and incompetent.


The prosecutor's office has released few details of the charges but news media have aired reports alleging that Ilyushenko took a bribe to arrange a major oil contract for a company in which his wife was an executive.


Ilyushenko became one of the most ridiculed politicians in the Moscow press because he devoted major resources to a series of minor charges against NTV Independent Television while failing to get results on more serious political murders.


Although his office gave several reports that the murders were almost solved, the deaths in 1995 of prominent television figure Vladislav Listyev and business leader Ivan Kivelidi remain shrouded in mystery.


But in that year, Ilyushenko grabbed headlines by launching a criminal investigation against NTV reporter Yelena Masyuk, whom he accused of breaching federal security for interviewing Chechen separatist leader and hostage taker Shamil Basayev and not informing authorities of his whereabouts.


Later, in a move that even dismayed some Kremlin officials, he declared war against "Kukly," an NTV political satire show featuring puppets of Yeltsin and other Moscow politicians.


In both cases, charges were eventually dropped.