New suspects may appear in case of Russian ex-Economy Minister
MOSCOW, November 16 (RAPSI) – Several other officials may be implicated a bribery case brought against former Russian Economy Minister Alexey Ulyukayev, RIA Novosti reported Wednesday, citing an undisclosed source.
“Such criminal schemes are not done by one man,” RIA Novosti quoted its source as having said.
According to acting spokeswoman for the Investigative Committee Svetlana Petrenko, the minister was arrested overnight into Tuesday when receiving a bribe. He allegedly demanded Russian state-controlled oil giant Rosneft’s representative to pay him $2 million for lawfully providing a positive review and evaluation of a deal that allowed Rosneft to acquire government’s share in mid-sized producer Bashneft. She added that Ulyukayev threatened to create obtrusions for Rosneft with use of his position.
Ulyukayev was officially charged with extorting an especially large amount bribe.
On Tuesday, Moscow's Basmanny District Court placed him under house arrest until January 15. Later in the evening, President Vladimir Putin relieved Ulyukayev of his post because of loss of trust.
Ulyukayev pleads not guilty.
Bashneft was controlled by the government of Russia’s Bashkortostan region until 2003, when a major stake was sold to companies affiliated with Ural Rakhimov, son of the former head of Bashkortostan Murtaza Rakhimov. The company was privatized in 2009 when Russian oil-to-telecoms conglomerate AFK Sistema gained control of it.
Investigators opened a criminal case in April linked to deals with Bashneft shares in 2002 to 2009.
Rakhimov and billionaire Vladimir Yevtushenkov were implicated in the sale of Bashneft stock in 2009. Rakhimov was charged in absentia with embezzlement and money laundering, put on the international wanted list.
The Moscow Commercial Court granted in October 2014 a claim which had been filed by the Investigative Committee and ordered AFK Sistema, its subsidiary Sistema-Invest to forfeit Bashneft stock.