An opposition deputy who ran for governor of Siberia’s Krasnoyarsk region this fall has been arrested on charges of extortion, which the politician on Thursday dismissed as politically motivated.
Investigators accuse Alexander Gliskov of blackmailing a state-owned company executive in 2016-17 in order to receive a large bribe.
Krasnoyarsk's Tsentralny District Court ruled after a closed-door session on Thursday to keep Gliskov in pre-trial detention for two months, according to the local news website NGS24.ru.
“This case is fabricated. It’s an act of political reprisal,” Gliskov told reporters from inside a defendant’s cage in court.
Gliskov’s campaign team claimed widespread voter fraud during the September 2023 gubernatorial elections in Krasnoyarsk, where he placed second to Kremlin-appointed acting governor Mikhail Kotyukov.
Gliskov is a member of the Krasnoyarsk region’s 52-seat legislative assembly, which is dominated by the ruling United Russia party. He represents the far-right Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR), which has four seats in the Krasnoyarsk legislature.
LDPR leader Leonid Slutsky came to Gliskov’s defense, saying he also believes the criminal case is politically motivated.
“The accusations contradict his reputation,” Slutsky wrote on the messaging app Telegram.
Gliskov’s accuser is former Krasnoyarsk city council member Samed Yusubov, who himself was detained in May on unknown charges.