December 17, 2017 – FRN –
The former Economic Development Minister, Alexei Ulyukayev, who was accused of extorting $ 2 million in bribes from Rosneft, was found guilty of committing a crime under part 6 of Article 290 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (receiving a bribe on a large scale) and sentenced to eight years in a strict-security prison.
“Despite the non-recognition of his guilt, Ulyukayev’s guilt in accepting a bribe is confirmed by the totality of evidence gathered in the case,” Judge Larisa Semenova said. He was also fined 130 million rubles.
Ulyukaev received the bribe personally, and demanded it, “using the authority of his office” – the former head of the Ministry of Economic Development promised Igor Sechin (head of Rosneft) that if he refused, he would interfere with the activities of Rosneft in the future.
The court agreed with the prosecution’s version that on November 14, 2016, Ulyukayev came to the office of Rosneft and received a bag from Sechin with $ 2 million. This money was a bribe for the positive response of the Ministry about the privatization of a stake in Bashneft.
The judge decided to take Ulyukaev in custody in the courtroom.
The prosecutor asked to give Ulyukaev ten years of strict regime imprisonment and fined 500 million rubles, as well as to deprive state awards and to forbid him to hold positions in the civil service. The prosecutor stressed that Ulyukaev undermined the authorities.
Ulyukayev’s lawyers and he himself insisted on acquittal. According to the defense, the fault of the ex-minister has not been proven, while the main witness of the accusation was the former head of the security service of Rosneft Oleg Feoktistov. Sechin was summoned four times to the court to testify, but he never attended.
Ulyukaev asked to check Feoktistov and Sechin for a false denunciation. According to him, Sechin refused to attend court sessions because he “realized the consequences” of giving false testimony. He asked the court for an acquittal for himself, calling it a provocation by Sechin.