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Russian lawmaker detained in parliament for 2010 murders

Russian Federation Council member Rauf Arashukov at a meeting of the Russian Federation Council in 2016Image copyright Valery Sharifulin/TASS/Getty
Image caption Rauf Arashukov became a senator in 2016

A Russian lawmaker has been arrested on murder charges while inside Russia’s upper house of parliament on Wednesday, state media report.

Rauf Arashukov is accused of being involved in the 2010 killing of two people and other crimes, said the Investigative Committee of Russia.

The senator for the North Caucasus republic of Karachay-Cherkessia was detained in a parliamentary session.

He has previously denied the accusations against him.

His parliamentary immunity has now been revoked, Ria Novosti news agency reports.

He was arrested while in a parliamentary chamber as it was feared he would try to flee, a source told the state news agency.

What is Rauf Arashukov accused of?

Investigators believe the 32-year-old senator is involved in two contract killings in Cherkessk, the capital of the semi-autonomous region of Karachay-Cherkessia.

Aslan Zhukov, the leader of the youth movement Adyge-Khase, was shot dead in March 2010.

Two months later, Fral Shebkhuzov, an adviser to Karachay-Cherkessia’s president, was beaten and shot dead.

Mr Arashukov is also thought to be involved in other crimes, the Investigative Committee of Russia said on its website.

News of three witnesses implicating the senator broke last September.

The lawmaker, who became a senator in 2016, is also accused of “document fraud that allowed him to become a senator”, Russia media reports say.

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