Thousands in Russia's far east protest governor's jailing

People hold posters that read: "Freedom for Sergei Furgal" and "Putin to Resign!", during an unsanctioned protest in support of Sergei Furgal, the gov...
People hold up posters with portraits of Sergei Furgal during an unsanctioned protest in Khabarovsk, 6100 kilometers (3800 miles) east of Moscow, Russ...
People hold posters reading "Freedom for Sergei Furgal and Hands off from Sergei Furgal!" during an unsanctioned protest in support of Sergei Furgal, ...

People hold posters that read: "Freedom for Sergei Furgal" and "Putin to Resign!", during an unsanctioned protest in support of Sergei Furgal, the gov...

People hold up posters with portraits of Sergei Furgal during an unsanctioned protest in Khabarovsk, 6100 kilometers (3800 miles) east of Moscow, Russ...

People hold posters reading "Freedom for Sergei Furgal and Hands off from Sergei Furgal!" during an unsanctioned protest in support of Sergei Furgal, ...

MOSCOW (AP) — Thousands of protesters gathered Monday for a third straight day of massive protests in Russia's far east against the jailing of a provincial governor accused of involvement in multiple murders.

Demonstrators in Khabarovsk on the border with China have rejected the charges against Gov. Sergei Furgal as a sham and denounced the federal authorities.

The protests reflected widespread anger over the arrest of the popular governor and a simmering discontent with the Kremlin's policies.

The 50-year-old Furgal was arrested in Khabarovsk on Thursday and was flown to Moscow, where a court ruled that he should be held behind bars for two months as the investigation continues.

The Investigative Committee, the nation’s main criminal investigation agency, said Furgal is accused of involvement in the murders of several businessmen in the region and nearby territories in 2004 and 2005.

Furgal has denied the charges that date back to the period before he launched his political career when he was a businessman with interests ranging from imports of consumer goods to timber and metals

Before defeating a Kremlin-backed rival to win the governor’s seat in 2018, Furgal served as a federal lawmaker for a decade on the ticket of the Liberal-Democratic Party. Like the rest of his party, Furgal has never challenged federal government policy, but his unexpected victory in the gubernatorial election dealt a humiliating blow to the main Kremlin party, United Russia