ODINTSOVO (Moscow Region), January 15 - RAPSI, Diana Gutsul. The Odintsovo Garrison Military Tribunal has accepted the launch of criminal proceedings against a former commander of the Swifts aerobatics team, the court told the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI/rapsinews.com) Tuesday.

Charges of bribery and extortion have been pending against Morozov since October. According to the investigators, he accepted money from his employees in exchange for a "flexible" schedule. The court has refused to satisfy Morozov's appeal to close the case.

The Defense Ministry fired Morozov on November 12 for breach of contract without waiting for the results of the investigation.

In December, the Moscow Garrison Military Tribunal suspended the hearing of his appeal against his discharge until a verdict has been brought in the case.

His attorney Stanislav Batyayev has stated that Morozov should have been discharged because his contract expired as opposed to "on discriminating grounds." He said Morozov was determined to change the wording in his dismissal papers, although he does not plan to resume his previous work in the service.

As part of his lawsuit, he asked the court to cancel and reword the dismissal order. The original wording prevents him from receiving the benefits of a retired military commander.

The Swifts are the Russian Air Force's aerobatic performance demonstration team.