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MOSCOW, December 1. /TASS/. Neither high posts, nor bygone merits can serve as an excuse for corrupt officials, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday in his state-of-the-nation address.
"The overwhelming majority of government officials are honest and decent persons who are working for the benefit of the country," the president said. "Neither posts, nor top-level contacts, nor bygone merits can be an excuse for sticky-fingered officials."
"However no one has the right to pronounce any verdicts about a man’s guilt or innocence before a court ruling," Putin stressed.
"Regrettably, it has become a custom to make a stir in the media over so-called high-profile cases. Quite often investigative and law enforcement officials themselves are to blame," Putin said in his annual state-of-the-nation address to the Federal Assembly (the Russian parliament).
"Colleagues, I would like to draw your attention to this to say that the struggle against corruption is not a show. Only then will it yield results and receive conscious and wide support from society," Putin said.