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Fired Construction Chief Dies 2 Weeks After APEC Sacking

A government official fired for missing construction deadlines on infrastructure projects for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Vladivostok has died from a suspected heart attack, Interfax reported.

Sergei Yakushin, former chief of the Primorye region's urban development department, was fired two weeks ago for failing to meet deadlines on the construction of an opera and ballet theater and two hotels operated by Hyatt International. The completion dates for both projects were postponed to 2013.

The APEC Summit, which took place from Sep. 7 to 8, has drawn criticism for its hefty price tag. The summit in Russia's Far East cost more than all previous ones combined, with a total of 669 billion rubles ($21 billion) spent on infrastructure projects since 2008.

The Audit Chamber announced earlier this month that more than 15 billion rubles were misused. The chamber's official statement also noted that only 23 of the 67 infrastructure projects for the summit were operational by Sep. 1.

Another government official, Oleg Bukalov, who serves as head of the Regional Development Ministry's far eastern directorate, has been identified as a suspect in the theft of 93 million rubles allocated for APEC preparations, RIA-Novosti reported.

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