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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Councilman Held in Gruesome Killing

City Crime Statistics
June 29 – July 5
Theft (total)839225
Car theft4716
For the Record
Car accidents219
    a) killed10
    b) injured255
Public drunkenness3,463
    a) detained overnight1,127
Source: Moscow police

A Moscow district councilman has been detained by police on suspicion of killing a man, chopping up the body and disposing of the remains in Izmailovsky Park, police said Wednesday.

The 25-year-old politician from the Ivanovskoye district in Moscow's eastern outskirts was detained along with a 22-year-old unemployed friend by officers investigating the death of a 41-year-old car dealer in January, police spokesman Valery Buzovkin said.

Buzovkin said the suspects were believed to have killed the man as part of an initiation rite to enter a criminal gang. He declined to identify the suspects or the victim, citing the ongoing investigation.

Buzovkin said the car dealer's wife reported her husband missing on Jan. 23, four days after he left home to sell his Volga car and never returned.

The Volga was found near 57 Izmailovsky Prospekt in late February, while two polyethylene bags containing dismembered body parts were found in Izmailovsky Park in April, RIA-Novosti reported Tuesday, citing an unidentified law enforcement official. A DNA test determined that the remains were those of the missing car dealer.

The official said the suspects had admitted to making an appointment to meet the car dealer and then shooting him, dismembering him and scattering the body parts around eastern Moscow.

Buzovkin said 4,000 rubles and a cell phone were stolen from the car dealer.

The City Prosecutor's Office, which oversees murder investigations, could not be reached for comment Wednesday, and it was unclear exactly when the two suspects were arrested and whether they had formally been charged.

The two face up to life in prison if charged and convicted of murder.

The young councilman is one of 1,535 council members who sit on the city's 125 district councils. The councils were created under municipal self-rule legislation implemented last year to replace local Soviets, which were disbanded in 1993.

Among other things, the councils are responsible for approving land sales and construction, and overseeing enforcement of child custody and military draft orders. Calls to the Ivanovskoye District Council went unanswered Wednesday.

Moskovsky Komsomolets reported Tuesday that the councilman was a member of the ultranationalist Liberal Democratic Party.

Party spokeswoman Lyudmila Loseva could not confirm that. "We don't even have a name yet," she said.