MOSCOW, May 6 (RAPSI) - The Main Military Prosecutor Office has upheld the decision to pardon former Russian defense minister Anatoly Serdyukov, Kommersant newspaper reported Tuesday.
In late April, military prosecutors brought Serdyukov’s right to be pardoned under the amnesty into challenge and ordered a relevant expert investigation. Attorney Genrikh Padva insisted that Serdyukov had been pardoned legally.
According to the newspaper, a committee of experts found Serdyukov’s release justified.
Former Russian defense minister Anatoly Serdyukov was pardoned earlier this year, but the information was deliberately kept secret under the terms of an agreement reached between the minister’s attorneys and the investigators. According to Padva, the agreement was reached in an effort to avoid “agitating the public.”
Anatoly Serdyukov lost his position as Defense Minister in November as an investigation unfolded into a suspected 13 billion rubles ($363 million) fraud case involving alleged irregularities in the sale of ministry real estate.
Serdyukov, 52, was the most high-profile target of an anti-corruption campaign that Russian President Vladimir Putin launched after the 2012 elections. Putin gave the Defense Ministry’s top job to the former furniture dealer and tax official in 2007, tasking him with improving efficiency and reducing corruption. But in 2012, the Investigative Committee, which is directly subordinate to the president, launched a string of criminal cases against Serdyukov and his affiliates.
In December, Serdyukov was charged with negligence after investigators claimed he had cost the state 56 million rubles’ ($1.6 million) worth of damage by ordering soldiers to build a private road to a Caspian Sea holiday resort owned by his brother-in-law.