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City Hall Defends Deputy Mayor at Center of Graft Case

City Hall said Wednesday that a corruption investigation into Mayor Yury Luzhkov's powerful deputy Alexander Ryabinin would "come to nothing," RIA-Novosti reported, citing a City Hall statement.

The Investigative Committee on Monday opened a criminal case against Ryabinin on suspicion of abuse of office, a charge that carries up to 10 years in prison. Ryabinin remains free.

Ryabinin, who heads City Hall's Control Committee, which authorizes construction permits and land sales, is accused of pressuring an unidentified Moscow businessman into handing over a nonresidential property to Ryabinin's daughter.

The City Hall statement praised Ryabinin for having "high moral and ethical qualities."


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