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The investigation committee of the Russian General Prosecutor's Office denied
The investigation committee of the Russian General Prosecutor's Office denied on Friday that Russia's top court had ruled illegal the arrest of Lt. Gen. Alexander Bulbov, a senior drug control official.

On Thursday, a lawyer for the Federal Drug Control Service official said the Russian Supreme Court had ruled that the arrest of his defendant was illegal and that the 35 charges against him were groundless.

Bulbov is accused of extorting $3.2 million, as well as illegal phone tapping, money laundering, and offering bribes.

According to Vladimir Markin, a spokesman for the investigation committee, on October 28 a panel of Supreme Court judges sent a request to the Moscow City Court to prolong custody terms for Bulbov and the other suspects in the case.

"The custody terms for these people has been prolonged until November 21. There were no other court decisions," Markin said.

He also added that Bulbov's lawyer had attempted to influence public opinion with his interpretation of events and to put pressure on the Moscow City Court.

Bulbov, the head of technical 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 included taking bribes, the abuse of office, and illegal business activities.

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.

Bulbov's arrest, along with that of several of his colleagues, prompted speculation over a possible conflict between the two state agencies.


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