Former Russian Economy Minister Aleksey Ulyukayev has been found guilty on charges of taking a $2 million bribe. The verdict makes Ulyukayev the highest-ranking Russian official ever to be convicted on corruption charges.
Ulyukayev was detained in November 2016 on charges of allegedly receiving a $2 million bribe in return for his ministry’s support for a positive assessment allowing state oil company Rosneft to complete a deal on purchasing the government's stake in another Russian oil major, Bashneft.
The charges were based on the testimony of Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin as well as a sting operation in which Sechin personally handed a bag containing $2 million in cash to the then-economy minister.
Ulyukayev pleaded not guilty at the start of the trial and continued to maintain his innocence.
Earlier in December, Russian prosecutors asked for a sentence of 10 years in a penal colony for Ulyukayev. The custodial sentence would be in addition to a fine of about $8.5 million if he was found guilty of accepting the $2 million bribe, they said.
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