MOSCOW, July 18 (RIA Novosti) – Yevgeny Urlashov, who won a rare landslide victory over the ruling United Russia party last year, is no longer mayor of Yaroslavl, according to a Thursday court ruling reported by the RAPSI legal news service.
Detained and brought to Moscow last week on charges that he extorted a 45 million ruble ($1.4 million) bribe, Urlashov claims that he was framed, and his lawyer called Thursday’s ruling a ploy to keep him “from making political decisions.”
Recently, another criminal case was launched against Urlashov on charges of accepting a 500,000 ruble bribe.
On Thursday, an Investigative Committee spokesman said the ruling to remove Urlashov from office was made in the interest of the residents of Yaroslavl, a city 250 kilometers (160 miles) northeast of Moscow.
“It will enable municipal authorities to appoint an acting mayor,” and Urlashov will lose any administrative power to “exert possible pressure on investigators,” spokesman Vladimir Markin said.