MOSCOW, December 9 (RIA Novosti) - The Moscow City Court will on Wednesday hear an appeal against the arrest of Viktor Syusyura, former interior minister of Russia's east Siberian republic of Buryatia.
Syusyura is charged with 44 counts of smuggling, which, investigators say, he committed when he headed a southern Russian transport police department in 2001-2006.
According to the investigation, Syusyura received monthly kickbacks from members of an organized crime group for facilitating the movement of illicit goods from the Middle East to southern Russia's Krasnodar Territory, as well as impeding the legitimate activity of law enforcement agencies under his control.
Damages inflicted upon the state are assessed at about 50 million rubles ($1.6 million).
Syusyura and his deputy police Lt. Col. Andrei Shurupov were detained and transported to Moscow on October 17. Moscow's Basmanny Court ruled on October 20 to keep them in custody.