MOSCOW, September 13. /TASS/. Investigators say that Russia’s former Economic Development Minister Alexey Ulyukayev showed the CEO of Rosneft oil company Igor Sechin two fingers when extorting a $2-million bribe, according to the details divulged in a Moscow court on Wednesday, a TASS correspondent reported from the courtroom.
The court probing into the Ulyukayev case questioned Sechin’s bodyguard Vadim Derevyagin, who was a witness to a conversation between Sechin and Ulyukayev during a game of billiards at the BRICS summit in Goa in 2016. The state prosecutor read out Derevyagin’s testimonies during the investigation, in particular, the part of the questioning when the investigator asked him if Derevyagin had really seen Ulyukayev’s ‘two-finger gesture’.
"I was watching Sechin play billiards. Different people were coming up to him to cheer up. Ulyukayev was among them. Their talk lasted for no more than five minutes. I saw Ulyukayev make no two-finger gestures, but I cannot say that there was no such gesture," Derevyagin replied to the investigator’s question.
Ulyukayev was detained on November 14, 2016 by the Investigative Committee on the suspicion of extorting a $2-million bribe from the oil company as a reward for a positive conclusion regarding the acquisition of Bashneft oil company shares.
Ulyukayev was Russia’s first federal minister to have been detained while in office. In November 2016 Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed Ulyukayev over the loss of confidence. Ulyukayev is currently under house arrest in his apartment in Moscow. On August 8 the court prolonged the house arrest till January 27, 2018.