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Communists gather 92 signatures to initiate Serdyukov probe

December 20, 2013, 5:06 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, December 20, 4:12 /ITAR-TASS/. Communists at the State Duma lower house of Russia's parliament have gathered 92 signatures necessary for initiating a probe into the activity of former Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov.

"We've gathered 92 signatures; we are now drawing documents on a probe," Communist lawmaker Anatoly Lokot told Itar-Tass on Thursday.

Under the law, the Duma Council is to decide within 15 days on whether it should put the issue on the house agenda.

Earlier, member of the house committee on civil, criminal, arbitration and procedural legislation Yuri Sinelshchikov said the initiative calling for a probe needed at least 90 signatures before it could be forwarded to house speaker Sergei Naryshkin.

"He sends the initiative to a committee and then the house reviews it at a session." Sinelshchikov said. "The Communists' motion might be reviewed next January. If the State Duma decides that a probe is necessary, it will set up an ad hoc commission."

The law provides for launching a parliamentary probe into facts of gross of massive violation of human rights or freedoms, the circumstances related to contingencies caused by anthropogenic factors and negative consequences of natural and man-made disasters.

Earlier, military investigators accused former Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov of negligence incurring huge material damage.

They said Serdyukov had issued verbal instructions to his subordinates to use funds from the Defense Ministry’s budget for the construction of an automobile road from the village of Krasa, Russia’s Astrakhan region, to the island of Shkolnyi where a non-profit partnership called “Zhitnoye” was located.

Besides, Serdyukov ordered his employees to develop the partnership’s territory. The investigators believe that Serdyukov’s actions caused more than 56 million roubles /1 USD = 32.95 roubles/ worth of damage to the Russian state.

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