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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Suspects Detained in Manevich Case

The Federal Security Service announced Wednesday that an undisclosed number of suspects have been arrested and charged in connection with the murder last year of St. Petersburg Deputy Governor Mikhail Manevich.

Manevich was killed and his wife injured when a sniper fired eight bullets through the roof of his Volvo car from the attic of a nearby building. He became one of the highest-ranking officials to be killed in recent years and his death provoked disquiet among Russia's political elite.

In a statement, the Federal Security Service, or FSB, confirmed arrests had been made. "Indeed there were a number of detentions and arrests of suspects in the case, some of them beyond the borders of the Russian Federation," said Colonel Mikhail Kirillin of the FSB's press office.

According to Kirillin, the investigators were still reluctant to publicize any details of the case on grounds that the information might interfere with the criminal investigation. "We are not allowed to talk about the case, although I can say that there were lots of interesting episodes," Kirillin said.

There have been previous reports of a breakthroughs in the Manevich case, but all have been premature.

The FSB statement came after Russian television stations and the Kommersant Daily newspaper reported Wednesday that four people had been detained in connection with Manevich's murder.

Kommersant Daily, which did not disclose the source of its information, said the four men are professional killers-for-hire. They were detained in the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan, where they had been hiding after carrying out numerous contract killings across Russia and in neighboring republics, the newspaper said, adding that the suspects were soon to be extradited to Russia.

Kirillin refused to confirm or deny the report, nor did he elaborate on when the arrests were made.

However, Kirillin noted that the investigation was not confined to St. Petersburg. "Work was conducted in other regions in Russia and in some instances even abroad. On the territories of [former Soviet] countries it is being conducted by the law enforcement and security services of those states," he said, adding that investigators are certain the case will be solved.

Manevich's murder last Aug 18. rocked St. Petersburg and alarmed many of the so-called young reformers prominent in the federal government at the time. The deputy governor was a close associate of then-First Deputy Prime Minister Anatoly Chubais.

There was no indication that investigators were any closer to identifying the people who ordered Manevich's killing. His supporters believe he was killed because of his professional duties -- as head of St. Petersburg's privatization committee, his decisions decided the fate of millions of dollars worth of real estate in the city.

"His position was such that he was bound to cause trouble for somebody. There must have been plenty of people who envied him. But in general he made a very good impression," Arkady Kramarev, the head of the Law and Order Commission of St. Petersburg's Legislative Assembly, said.