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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Former Senator Under Arrest

VedomostiIgor Izmestyev
A former senator from Bashkortostan suspected of ordering the murder of his business partner's wife was placed under arrest Thursday, just days after he was seized at a Kyrgyz airport by Federal Security Service agents and shuttled back to Moscow.

The Basmanny District Court on Thursday placed former senator Igor Izmestyev under arrest on suspicion of ordering the murder of Galina Perepyolkina, the wife of Yury Bushev. Perepyolkina was shot dead on Bolshaya Bronnaya Ulitsa in Moscow in 2001.

Izmestyev, 40, has not been charged with any crimes, though he is also suspected of tax evasion and trying to bribe an officer of the Federal Security Service, or FSB, news agencies reported.

Izmestyev called the murder charge "absurd." "I was abducted," he said in televised comments from the courtroom cage. "This is all about money."

Izmestyev, whose worth Finans magazine estimated in February at $235 million, flew into the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, from Geneva on Tuesday and was seized at the airport by FSB agents working with their Kyrgyz counterparts. He was flown to Moscow in the custody of FSB agents, Kommersant reported.

An FSB spokesman referred all inquiries to the Prosecutor General's Office. A spokeswoman there said she could not comment.

Toktogul Kakchekeyev, a spokesman for the Kyrgyz Prosecutor General's Office, said the joint operation to arrest Izmestyev was based on agreements between the two countries to battle organized crime, Interfax reported.

The allegations surrounding Izmestyev form a Byzantine web connected to retired naval officer Alexander Pumane, who was beaten to death by policemen during an interrogation in September 2004 after he was detained in Moscow with two land mines and 200 grams of TNT in his car. Prosecutors said Pumane was planning to detonate the explosives next to the car of Bushev, Izmestyev's former business partner.

Komsomolskaya Pravda reported in November that the company Izmestyev headed, Korus-Holding, owed Bushev $20 million. The company specializes in oil transportation.

Bushev disappeared from his home in the Odintsovo district of the Moscow region in August after leaving in his car with an unidentified man.

Recent court testimony has connected Izmestyev with the so-called Kingisepp gang, to which prosecutors say Pumane belonged. Alexander Ivanov, one of several suspected Kingisepp members accused of carrying out a series of contract murders and currently on trial at the Moscow City Court, testified this week that Izmestyev headed up the gang from 1992 to 1994, Kommersant reported Wednesday.

Ivanov told the court that wages improved markedly under Izmestyev's reign, from $7,000 per hit to $20,000 per hit, Kommersant reported. Ivanov testified that Izmestyev had ordered several murders, including that of Lyudmila Krasnoger, a former chief accountant with Plaza Group.

Krasnoger disappeared without a trace in November 2001. But in February 2005, her body was discovered buried in concrete in a garage in northeast Moscow.

Izmestyev officially resigned his seat in the Federation Council last month.