#14 - JRL 2009-139 - JRL Home
Moscow Times
July 24, 2009
Courts Get $29Bln in Corruption Cases

Twelve corruption cases causing damages of more than 896 billion rubles ($29 billion) were sent to court in the first half of 2009, Investigative Committee head Alexander Bastrykin said Thursday.

President Dmitry Medvedev has made the fight against official corruption a priority, and the announcement appeared to be an attempt to show that the campaign was bearing fruit.

Bastrykin said suspects in the cases included Interior Ministry officials, customs agents, Audit Chamber members, prosecutors and local officials.

He said 106 investigations were currently being conducted by the Investigative Committee, and 66 of them are related to corruption among bureaucrats and law enforcement officers.

He also complained that foreign authorities often do not respond quickly to the Investigative Committee’s inquiries.

Bastrykin provided scarce details about the cases that have been sent to court in the first six months of this year. The dozen cases consist of 23 defendants, he said. Five of the cases involve accepting bribes, two are for fraud and the rest are offenses ranging from misappropriation to obstruction of justice.

Last month, Bastrykin told prosecutors that he ordered former investigator Dmitry Dovgy in 2007 to investigate Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak for attempting to embezzle $43 million, despite Dovgy’s objections.

Bastrykin was speaking at Dovgy’s trial on charges of accepting a 750,000 euro bribe to halt a separate embezzlement investigation. On July 31, Moscow City Court sentenced Dovgy to nine years in prison.

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