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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russian top court overrules arrest of 'phone-tapping' general

RIA Novosti

06/11/2008 17:24 MOSCOW, November 6 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Supreme Court has ruled that the arrest of Lt. Gen. Alexander Bulbov, a senior Federal Drug Control Service official, was illegal, and that the 35 charges against him are unfounded, his lawyer said on Thursday.

The official is accused of extorting $3.2 million, as well as illegal phone tapping, money laundering, and offering bribes. The court has yet to confirm the report.

"The Supreme Court has ruled that all investigative actions with regard to Bulbov, including his arrest and charges against him are unlawful and invalid," lawyer Sergei Antonov said.

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 bribe taking, abuse of authority, 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 last spring.

Bulbov's arrest along with several colleagues prompted speculation of a conflict between the two state agencies.



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