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    GOVERNOR OF KAMCHATKA REGION ACCUSED OF ABUSING HIS POWERS

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    PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY, March 19, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent Oksana Guseva) -- The Environmental Prosecutor's Office of the Kamchatka Region (Far Eastern Federal District of the Russian Federation) has brought charges of exceeding his powers against the Regional Governor Mikhail Mashkovtsev, Prosecutor of the Kamchatka Inter-Regional Environmental Prosecutor's Office Alexander Teplyakov said.

    According to the Prosecutor, "a measure of restraint envisaging a written undertaking to be given by the Governor not to leave will be chosen in relation to him." Mr. Mashkovtsev is accused of abusing his powers, which caused heavy damage. The criminal case against him was opened on March 17. The Governor may face punishment from 3 to 10 years of imprisonment.

    According to the data of the prosecutor's office, during the fishing season of 2002 the governor, in violation of the effective legislation, issued an order allowing unlimited fishing of all types of salmon in the rivers of the peninsula. The decision was motivated by the overfilling of the spawning places, which in fact did not take place.

    According to the environmental prosecutor of the Kamchatka Region Alexander Teplyakov the total admissible catch of all types of the salmon was exceeded by over 10, 500 tons in Petrapavlovsk- Kommandory and Kamchatka-Kurily fishing zones.

    The excessive catches of all types of salmon inflicted tangible damage on the interests of the Russian Federation which are protected by law and had harmful aftermath - a heavy environmental damage which , according to the preliminary estimates, exceeds 1,603 million roubles ( around 46 million euros), Mr. Teplyakov said.

    Salmon was fished in all water bodies of the peninsula, including natural preserves . The fishing of all types of salmon, including those which are included in the Red Book, was allowed by all kinds of fishing means."

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