Russia's Ulyukayev found guilty of bribery

Russia's Ulyukayev found guilty of bribery

Moscow’s Zamoskvoretsky court found former Russian Economic Development Minister Alexey Ulyukayev guilty of taking a bribe.

Court has sentenced Ulyukayev to 8 years in maximum security penal colony.

The results of investigative measures, following which ex-Economic Development Minister was detained and charged with bribe-taking, are trustworthy, Moscow’s Zamoskvoretsky Court concluded. "The court trusts the results of the investigative activity," Judge Larisa Semyonova said.

In its verdict, the court came to a conclusion that as the Russian Economic Development Minister, Ulyukayev had powers to exert influence on the privatization of Bashneft oil company. The court detailed the company’s privatization process relying on the evidence of the government representatives and documentation for the deal.

The court said that the evidence submitted and analyzed during the trial validates Ulyukayev's guilt in the bribery case. "[His] guilt is confirmed by all the evidence studied by the court," the judge stressed, reading the verdict.

Ulyukayev was taken into custody on November 14, 2016, after being caught red-handed in Rosneft’s office on suspicion of extorting a bribe from Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin. Experts found traces of a special substance on Ulyukayev’s hands, from the handle of a case where the money was marked.

As the case files indicate, in October 2016, Ulyukayev demanded a $2 million bribe from Sechin for the Economic Development Ministry’s consent to the go-ahead for Rosneft’s acquisition of a 50.08% stake in another oil company, Bashneft. Otherwise, he threatened to oppose Rosneft’s other legitimate corporate deals with ministerial roadblocks. The prosecutor noted that Sechin’s cash handover to Ulyukayev was part of a sting operation.

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