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Senate speaker urges to refrain from theories until economy minister's trial is over

November 16, 2016, 18:34 UTC+3
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Alexei Ulyukayev

Alexei Ulyukayev

© Yekaterina Shtukina/Russian Government Press Office/TASS

MOSCOW, November 16. /TASS/. Hawking theories is not appropriate until the investigation of former Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev’ case is completed, Russia’s Federation Council (upper house of parliament) Speaker Valentina Matviyenko said.

She pointed out that Ulyukayev’s arrest is "an extraordinary and unprecedented event as it is the first time that such a high-ranking official is facing this serious accusation." "The media have been pitching theories and drawing conclusions that do not help the Investigative Committee, that needs to work calmly and impartially. I believe we all need to refrain from any assessments, conclusions and recommendations," Matviyenko added noting that no one had the right to influence investigators.

"Let us be patient, since it is a very high-profile case that has stirred up society. Let’s wait until the investigation is completed and a court announces its ruling, then it will be possible to comment and draw conclusions," the senator elaborated.

According to Matviyenko, "at the moment, it is very important to create conditions for an impartial investigation." "Then only a court will be eligible to determine his guilt or innocence," the senate speaker stressed. She also said that until the investigation was underway, no parliamentary investigation could be conducted.

The law on the parliamentary investigation stipulates that this procedure "does not replace a criminal investigation and legal proceedings", while the parliamentary investigation cannot aim at determining the guilt or innocence of persons suspected of committing a crime. First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma (lower house of parliament) Committee for Security and Combating Corruption, former Deputy Prosecutor General Ernest Valeyev earlier told TASS that the law prohibited a parliamentary investigation, when a criminal case had already been launched.

On Monday, Alexei Ulyukayev was taken into custody when he received a $2 mln bribe for approving an endorsement by the ministry that allowed oil major Rosneft to purchase the government’s 50% stake in the Bashneft oil company. Ulyukayev is the first federal minister to be arrested in the history of modern Russia. He has been put under house arrest.

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