MOSCOW, September 13 (RAPSI) – A court has extended detention of ex-governor of Russia’s Republic of Mari El Leonid Markelov, who stands charged with receiving more than 235 million rubles (about $4 million) in bribes, until January 2, 2020, attorney Igor Trunov has told RAPSI.

Alleged mediator in bribery, a university professor Natalya Kozhanova, will also remain in detention for the same term.

The defendants are in jail for already over 2.5 years, according to Trunov.

Initially, the case against Markelov was to be considered in the Republic of Mari El, but the Supreme Court changed its territorial jurisdiction and forwarded the case to Nizhny Novgorod for hearing.

Investigators believe that Markelov acting as the republic’s governor received through Kozhanova 235 million rubles from the founder of Akashevskaya factory as a bribe for common protection and assistance in the property payment of funds provided by the state support for development of the agricultural complex.

According to defense lawyer Sergey Sevruk, Markelov is also a defendant in another criminal case over illegal possession of ammunition.

Media also reported that there is the third case against the former official over abuse of power.

Markelov pleads not guilty to all accusations.