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Former Defense Minister Serdyukov given amnesty in power abuse case

Published time: March 06, 2014 09:47
Former defense minister Anatoly Serdyukov (RIA Novosti/Alexei Druzhinin)

Former defense minister Anatoly Serdyukov (RIA Novosti/Alexei Druzhinin)

Russia’s top federal law enforcement agency has closed a criminal case against the former defense chief, but the probe into a multi-million dollar embezzlement in the ministry continues.

Anatoly Serdyukov was given amnesty by the Investigative Committee after a personal request from the former minister, the Interfax news agency reported on Thursday quoting an unnamed source acquainted with the situation. According to the source military prosecutors had no objection and the amnesty request was agreed almost immediately.

However, Serdyukov’s defense attorney Konstantin Rivkin has refused to confirm the report. The Investigative Committee has not commented on the report either.

The amnesty that halted the probe into the former official was put in place in December last year to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the modern Russian Constitution. It applied to first-time offenders tried for crimes not connected with violence against representatives of authority and sentenced to terms of up to five years.

The news of Serdyukov’s amnesty was first circulated by the Russian media in late February. Then the agencies quoted an anonymous source in the Investigative Committee and military police as saying that the ex-minister was seeking amnesty as a person with state decorations who took part in active combat. (This is a reference to the brief war with Georgia in August 2008 when Anatoly Serdyukov occupied the defense minister’s post).

Anatoly Serdyukov served asdefense minister from February 2007 till November 2012 when he was sacked after investigators uncovered a huge embezzlement scheme run by his subordinates in the real estate and other branches of the ministry. According to law enforcers, the suspects managed to defraud the state of about $215 million, and the investigation is ongoing.

Serdyukov was first questioned as a witness in the embezzlement case , but later found himself facing charges of criminal negligence over an episode in which he allegedly ordered government contractors to build a road to a privately-owned sanatorium in South Russia. The cost to the state budget amounted to 56 million rubles (over US$2 million).

The former defence minister is pleading not guilty in the power abuse case and claims that he was unaware of the suspected embezzlement in his ministry.

Comments (7)


Robert@ 11.03.2014 07:20

@Adam: I doubt Russia or even those poorest countries in Africa is more corrupted than USA. If you don't know, Bush family has a strong ties to the Oil business, their connection is so big, that the son of Bush father's oil partner tried to kill Reagan, so Bush could become the next president, at that time Bush was vice-president.
When Bush finally came to power he run gulf war, later wars in the middle east, after that, oil value explode all over the world, and guess who investmets explode as well? But different than Russia and many countries in the world, the corrupted American press, do not expose their politician


Saleem Mohammad 09.03.2014 14:36

Russia is passing through its historical evolutionary phase. It will get hold of its social and economic malpractices. Only then it can lead the world to get rid of Multinationals and bankers exploitation.


Enrique 07.03.2014 19:35

As a consequence of his actions, now Russian Defense is less effective as that money should have been spent on Russian military equipment. So, it is an act of treason.

View all comments (7)
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