Russia's Ulyukayev believes his criminal case is provocation

Russia's Ulyukayev believes his criminal case is provocation

Former Russian Economic Development Minister Alexey Ulyukayev considers criminal prosecution against him a provocation.

"Of course, that was a provocation," he told reporters in Moscow’s Zamoskvoretsky District Court on Wednesday. Ulyukayev also said that he did not discuss the incident with the head of state. "No, I did not," he said answering a question on the issue. 

Alexey Ulyukayev said that Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin and General Feoktistov organized a bribe provocation against him.

"The bribe was provoked by Sechin’s false statements. The charges were trumped up on the basis of his testimony only," TASS cited Ulyukayev s saying.

"I must say that the transfer of the bribe money has been planned by the Federal Security Service (FSB). Sechin called me under the pretext of discussing the affairs of the corporation and persuaded me to come to Rosneft’s premises where he handed over the money to me," the former minister added.

Ulyukayev was detained on November 14, 2016. That was the first detention of a senior government official in Russia’s modern history.

According to the Russian Investigative Committee, Ulyukayev was detained while taking a $2 mln bribe for the ministry’s positive opinion about Rosneft’s purchase of 50.08-percent stake in Bashneft. Moreover, according to investigators, the former minister is charged with bribe extortion through threats to Rosneft representatives.

On November 15, 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin relieved Ulyukayev off his duties over the loss of trust. The former minister is under house arrest. On August 8, the court extended his house arrest until January 27, 2018.

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