Body of Russian politician found encased in barrel of cement

Wednesday 20 February 2013 23.26
Mikhail Pakhomov's badly beaten body was found in a barrel of cement in a garage
Mikhail Pakhomov's badly beaten body was found in a barrel of cement in a garage

The body of a Russian politician has been found encased in a barrel of cement with a former government official accused of ordering the killing over an €60m debt.

Mikhail Pakhomov, 37, went missing last week.

He was a member of the local legislature in Lipetsk, a city some 350km south of Moscow, and was last seen last Tuesday when three unidentified men pushed him into a car outside a restaurant in Lipetsk and drove away.

Russia's Investigative Committee says several suspects were detained in the case, and that authorities found Mr Pakhomov's badly beaten body in a barrel of cement in a garage.

Russian television stations aired footage provided by police that showed a fragment of a barrel, pieces of concrete and officers carrying what appeared to be Pakhomov's body on a stretcher and loading it into a vehicle.

The Investigative Committee said Yevgeny Kharitonov is being held on suspicion of ordering the killing of Pakhomov, allegedly over the €60m debt.

Mr Kharitonov is a former deputy minister for communal services in the Moscow region's provincial government

The committee's spokesman, Vladimir Markin, said in a statement that one of the detained suspects told investigators that Mr Kharitonov had told them that he had to recover the debt to advance his career.

"For Kharitonov, career was the main priority," Mr Markin said in a statement.

Russian news reports said Mr Kharitonov was detained by police at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport while preparing to board a flight to the southern city of Krasnodar.

It wasn't immediately clear if Mr Kharitonov had retained a lawyer.

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