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Russia's former economic development minister is sentenced to eight years in prison for bribery

Source: Meduza

Moscow’s Zamoskvoretsky District Court has sentenced former Economic Development Minister Alexey Ulyukayev to eight years in prison for allegedly soliciting a $2-million bribe from Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin. Ulyukayev was convicted of demanding the money for facilitating the government’s approval of Rosneft’s acquisition of a stake in the oil company Bashneft. Prosecutors asked the court to sentence him to 10 years in prison. Ulyukayev maintains his innocence.

After the sentence was announced, the news agency TASS reported that Ulyukayev might be released from serving his prison sentence for health reasons. Eva Merkacheva, the deputy chairperson of Moscow’s Public Monitoring Commission, also told RIA Novosti that Ulyukayev’s sentence would be “replaced with something softer,” in light of his age and health.

On December 7, Ulyukayev delivered an impassioned closing statement, where he warned that “10 years in prison for a man of 62 doesn’t differ much from a death sentence.”