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Accusation of bribery against MP dismissed as provocation

September 27, 2012, 17:07 UTC+3

Head of the Duma commission on ethic Vladimir Pekhtin told journalists on Thursday

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MOSCOW, September 27 (Itar-Tass) — The Duma commission on ethic rules has found no reasons for suspending MP Alexei Mitrofanov, who was publicly accused of bribery by a pensioner,Vyacheslav Zharov, Head of the Duma commission on ethic Vladimir Pekhtin told journalists on Thursday.

The commission looked into a complaint lodged by Zharov and decided to lodge an inquiry with the Interior Ministry, the Prosecutor's General and the Investigative Committee. "We should make certain whether a criminal case, which Mr. Zharov mentioned in his complaint, was really opened," Pekhtin said, adding they expected the results of the inquiry in a month's time.

The commission established that at present, there are no grounds to suspend MP Alexei Mitrofanov from the work at the State Duma, Pekhtin said. He confirmed that a number of deputies had voiced proposals not to consider Mitrofanov yet for the post of the head of the newly established committee on the mass media, but the overwhelming majority were against. "Thus, the commission sees no obstacles preventing Mitrofanov from continuing his work at the State Duma at the present stage at least, Pekhtin said.

Nikolai Mironov- Director General of the Institute of priority regional projects, told Itar-Tass that the situation around Mitrofanov should be considered in the context of a "pure political game". Mironov described the situation around Mitrofanov as "strange". "One can hardly imagine that Mitrofanov could have accepted a bribe from a pensioner, and it is even more difficult to think of a pensioner who could afford such a bribe," Mironov said.

"Incidentally, the pensioner accused Mitrofanov of bribery a few days prior to Mitrofanov's appointment to the post of head of the Duma Commission on the mass media. The incident was likely a provocation, an act of revenge or envy of some of Mitrofanov's colleagues. This is a political and well- considered campaign obviously aimed against Mitrofanov being appointed to the post of the head of the new commission," Mironov said.

The Kommersant daily reported this week that pensioner Vyacheslav Zharov had lodged a complaint against Mitrofanov, accusing him of accepting a bribe worth 2.25 million roubles. A telegram in which Mitrofanov was accused of bribery was addressed to Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin and leaders of all the Duma parties, Kommersant said.

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