Russian Court Jails Ex-Minister Ulyukayev For 8 Years In Bribery Case

Russian Court Jails Ex-Minister Ulyukayev For 8 Years In Bribery Case

Russian Court Jails Ex-Minister Ulyukayev For 8 Years In Bribery Case

Former Russian economy minister Alexei Ulyukayev was found guilty of soliciting a $2 million bribe and sentenced to eight years in jail on Friday, in a case that has shone a rare light on infighting among the elite ahead of a presidential election.

Judge Larisa Semyonova said the eight years would be served in a "harsh regime" colony.

In a trial that exposed rivalries between opposing government factions, Alexei Ulyukayev had demanded and accepted the money from Igor Sechin, head of the state oil giant Rosneft, Moscow's Zamoskvoretsky court ruled.

Further details of the ruling were expected later on Friday.

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Ulyukayev was given the minimal prison term possible given the charges against him; the Penal Code calls for eight years to 15 years in prison for such offences.

State prosecutors had asked for ten years in a high-security penitentiary for Ulyukayev.

Previously, he said a long sentence in a harsh-regime colony, most of which are in remote locations and offer prisoners little contact with families, would effectively be a death sentence.

Sechin took part in an elaborate sting operation on November 14 2016 involving Russia's FSB security service which ended in the arrest of Ulyukayev, 61, the latest twist in what several sources said was a Kremlin turf war.

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Ulyukayev had originally opposed the sale of the stake to Rosneft but later endorsed it after Putin said it would help fill state coffers. He said he thought the bag with the bribe was a gift of expensive alcohol.

Sechin has not attended the court hearings despite being summoned as a witness.

According to comments carried by state media, the Moscow court's judge said Ulyukayev had planned the scheme to enrich himself.

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