Moscow court extends custody of former anti-drugs official

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MOSCOW, March 12 (RIA Novosti) - A Moscow court extended custody of General Alexander Bulbov, a former senior drug control official suspected of illegal phone tapping, until June 15, his lawyer said Wednesday.

The court upheld a request from the investigation committee of the Prosecutor General's Office. The request said that if left at large, Bulbov could hide from investigators, destroy evidence, or pressure witnesses.

"Bulbov told the court that he did not intend to go into hiding and was ready to reside in the investigator's office to help him," lawyer Sergei Antonov said.

Bulbov, head of technological support at the Federal Drug Control Service, was detained by the Federal Security Service (FSB) at a Moscow airport in early October 2007 on suspicion of divulging state secrets and illegal phone tapping. A few days later, he was charged on six counts, which also included taking bribes, abuse of power and illegal business activity.

At the time of his arrest, Bulbov and his colleagues had been investigating a high-profile furniture smuggling case, which resulted in the arrests of five senior FSB officers last spring.

The arrests of Bulbov along with the other drug agency officials prompted speculation of a conflict between the two state agencies.

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