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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Jury Hearing Chubais Attack Case Dissolved

A Moscow region court ruled Wednesday to disband the jury for the trial of the three men accused of attempting to murder Unified Energy Systems chief Anatoly Chubais last March.

The court was responding to a request issued by prosecutors, who cited leaks in the media that, it was believed, would influence the jury's decision, Itar-Tass reported Wednesday. The trial is closed to the public.

But a lawyer for one of the defendants indicated that the reason for scrapping the jury might not, in fact, have had much to do with prosecutors.

Ruslan Zakalyuzhny, the lawyer, told Interfax that the court dissolved the jury because one of its members had provided incorrect information about his income. Zakalyuzhny cited the court's formal decision.

In the decision, the court also said public gatherings near the courtroom in support of the defendants were unduly influencing jurors, Zakalyuzhny said.

The defendants include retired military intelligence colonel Vladimir Kvachkov and two former paratroopers, Alexander Naidenov and Robert Yashin.

The trio is accused of having ambushed Chubais' motorcade outside Moscow while Chubais was heading to work in 2005. No one was hurt in the attack.

The defendants say they are not guilty.

Chubais' lawyer, Andrei Shugayev, welcomed the dissolution of the jury, citing legal grounds for doing so.

The trial began in April and adjourned Wednesday until Jan. 15. Shugayev said a new jury might be formed at the next hearing.

Earlier this month, a fourth suspect in the attempted murder, Ivan Mironov, a 25-year-old student, was detained in connection with the attack. Mironov had been charged in absentia and put on a federal wanted list, Shugayev earlier told Ekho Moskvy radio.

Chubais was the leading architect of the country's 1990s privatization program. He is reviled by many who say he is in large measure responsible for the economic turmoil of the last decade.