Moscow Court Orders Detention Of Father Of Ruling-Party Lawmaker

A Moscow district court has ordered the detention of the father of a ruling-party lawmaker who is being held on murder charges by authorities who suspect he was behind two contract killings in the North Caucasus region of Karachai-Cherkessia in 2010.

With the January 31 ruling, Raul Arashukov, an adviser to the chief executive of a Gazprom subsidiary and the father of upper parliament house member Rauf Arashukov, will be held until March 30, Judge

Yelena Lenskaya said in the court ruling.

Raul Arashukov, 59, is suspected of fraud and of using his official position to create a criminal group

He has also been accused of stealing 30 million rubles ($453 million) worth of natural gas over several years.

His son was taken into custody at a session of the Federation Council, the Russian parliament's upper chamber, on January 30 after lawmakers agreed to strip him of his immunity from prosecution.

The younger Arashukov, 32, was charged with murder, participation in a "criminal community," and witness-tampering.

The Moscow district court has ordered that he also be held until March 30 and could face life in prison if convicted of murder.

He is suspected of involvement in the 2010 killings of Fral Shebzukhov, an adviser to the leader of Karachai-Cherkessia at the time, and Aslan Zhukov, the deputy chairman of a youth movement in the mostly Muslim region, the committee said.

Both victims were shot; Shebzukhov was also beaten with a baseball bat.

Raul Arashukov is a lawmaker in Karachai-Cherkessia and has worked as an adviser to the CEO of Mezhregiongaz, an affiliate of state-controlled gas giant Gazprom, since 2011.

With reporting by TASS and Interfax