The former Minister of Economic Development of Russia, Alexei Uliukáev, of 62 years, was sentenced on Friday to eight years in prison by a court in Moscow which convicted him of having demanded two million dollars to chief of Rosneft, Igor Machin, in exchange for a decision Favorable to that state oil company.More information
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With Putin's trusted man, he worked in early 1990s in St. Petersburg, he set a trap for Uliukáev in November 2016. The executive summoned minister to his office in Rosneft and he handed him a suitcase full of dollars. When Uliukáev got her car, he was arrested by Federal Security Service (FSB in his Russian initials).
Uliukáev comes from team of Egor Gaidar, architect of economic policy of early nineties. Before occupying portfolio of economy, it was deputy of Central Bank of Russia. He, who became deputy of Putin's presidential administration, is considered one of leaders of siloviki, group of influence whose "political culture" dominates traditions and methods of security services.
The Court considered that former minister was guilty of receiving high-level bribes from senior officials. According to accusation, Uliukáev demanded to be rewarded in exchange for issuing an opinion favorable to purchase of 50.08% of shares of oil company Bashneft by Rosneft. Initially minister had opposed a state oil company participating in a privatization process. Rosneft is Russia's largest oil company since it absorbed main assets of crumbling empire Yukos, of magnate Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
Uliukáev's chief accuser, Mr. Chine, has refused four times to testify publicly before courts on grounds of work. It is a defiant behavior, which no ordinary citizen could afford. Filtered to press, transcripts of conversation maintained by Uliukáiev at headquarters of Rosneft notes a high degree of vulgarity and prosaic opinions on various actors in trade of hydrocarbons.
In his annual press conference on Thursday, Putin considered that he had no obligation to go to court appointment. The president's words and apparent disinterest in case were interpreted as an indication that former minister would be convicted. At eight years ' imprisonment, court added a penalty for value of bribe (130 million rubles, equivalent to $2 million) and prohibition on public office for eight years when released. The prosecutor had ordered 10 years ' imprisonment and 500 million rubles.
The former minister has been declared innocent and victim of a "monstrous and cruel provocation". The operation was organized by Machin and chief of security of Rosneft, general of security services Oleg Feoktistov, who gave a statement behind closed doors in process. According to RBK information service, Feoktístov said that a known (apparently a retired executive of Rosneft) had lent him sum of two million dollars to catch Uliukáev in an operation that counted with collaboration of FSB. In his defense, Uliukáev said he believed that suitcase contained bottles of a good wine that he had promised in Goa (India) in September 2016, when both were part of Russian delegation assistant to a summit of BRIC countries.
To cover amount of fine, judges have seized 15 real estate to former minister, plus more than 500 million rubles, a Patek Philippe watch and gold coins. Former Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin has described sentence against Uliukáev as "terrible" and "unfounded." Many encounter se injustices today, "Kudrin said in his Twitter account.