06:35 GMT +321 October 2018
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    Ex-Official Held over Stabbing Activist Nemesis

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    A former deputy mayor of a Siberian city was accused of killing a retiree in a fit of rage who harassed him in courts.

    A former deputy mayor of a Siberian city was accused of killing a retiree in a fit of rage who harassed him in courts.

    Alexander Khodzinsky, 74, was found dead with multiple stab wounds in the city of Tulun in the Irkutsk region, Ogirk.ru local news website said on Monday.

    Investigators detained Gennady Zhigaryov, 57, former deputy mayor of Tulun, over the case, the Investigative Committee said on its website.

    Zhigaryov, who was placed under arrest, allegedly killed the victim over their “long-running personal conflict,” investigators said, without elaborating.

    Khodzinsky waged an extended campaign against the construction of a mall in downtown Tulun, claiming that harmful materials were utilized in the construction and that the building obstructed traffic in the area, Ogirk.ru said.

    But local authorities turned a deaf ear to his complaint and proceeded with the construction of the mall, which was owned by a company of the deputy mayor’s wife, the report said.

    The activist complained to then-President Dmitry Medvedev and repeatedly sued the constructors, winning a court hearing on the eve of his demise, Ogirk.ru said.

    The victory possibly prompted the ex-mayor to stab his victorious opponent to death, the report said.

    Russia’s burgeoning grassroots activism has seen citizens on the ground increasingly watch over officials’ activities and expenses in recent years, looking for signs of corruption. In a telling example, Rospil, a project launched in 2010 to curb abuse in online state tenders, has helped make its founder, whistleblower Alexei Navalny, one of the most popular opposition politicians in the country.

     

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