Ex-defense minister to be probed for corruption links, Medvedev says
MOSCOW, December 7 - RAPSI. Investigators should look into whether former Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov was involved in the corruption scandal. At the moment, he is not a defendant in the case, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview.
"As for his involvement in the corruption scandal, the Oboronservis affair, and so forth, all of this should be looked into by investigators, thoroughly examined and submitted to court," Medvedev said. "Until this happens, he and all the other individuals are innocent. Please do not forget this."
Medvedev emphasized that no one cancelled the presumption of innocence and no charges have yet been brought against Serdyukov. It is up to the court to make a final decision as to whether he is guilty or not.
Russia's Defense Ministry has recently become embroiled in a scandal over alleged real estate scams involving nearly $100 million run by state defense firm Oboronservis. According to investigators, ministry officials bought and invested in commercially attractive facilities that were later sold at substantially reduced prices. The preliminary losses from the sale of eight properties amounted to over 3 billion rubles ($95.24 million). President Vladimir Putin dismissed Serdyukov in order to ensure impartiality in the criminal investigations currently pending which concern the ministry.