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Russian MPs slam early parole for ex-defense official convicted for embezzlement

August 25, 2015, 16:53 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Vasilyeva, the former chief of Russia's Defense Ministry property department, was sentenced in May 2015 to five years in jail for large-scale embezzlement as part of the Oboronservis case
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Yevgeniya Vasilyeva

Yevgeniya Vasilyeva

© TASS/Mikhail Pochuyev

MOSCOW, August 25. /TASS/. Members of all the factions in Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, have said they are dissatisfied with the court’s ruling on Tuesday to grant early parole to ex-defense official Yevgeniya Vasilyeva.

Vasilyeva, the former chief of Russia's Defense Ministry property department, was sentenced in May 2015 to five years in jail for large-scale embezzlement as part of the Oboronservis case.

Earlier on Tuesday, she left the penal colony in a village located in the Vladimir region’s Sudogodsky district, in central Russia, after a local court ruled that she should be released immediately.

Explaining the decision, the court said it has taken into consideration Vasilyeva’s "positive dynamics" while behind the bars.

Russia’s Communist Party plans to ask prosecutors to check whether the court’s ruling is lawful, a party member Sergey Obukhov told TASS. "We will insist that the prosecutors [investigate this]," he said.

The first deputy head of the United Russia faction in Russia’s State Duma, Franz Klintsevich, said the ruling on early parole may cause public discontent in Russia. "This is an insult against the power, law enforcement system and the rest," he told TASS.

"For me, she is a criminal, she will be a criminal and I will never agree with this verdict as a man and as an officer," he said.

The first deputy head of A Just Russia faction in the State Duma, Mikhail Yemelyanov, said Tuesday’s ruling is "the strongest blow against the anti-corruption fight" in Russia.

Last week, the defense lawyers said Vasilyeva had paid damages to the affected persons in full (216 million rubles or $3.1 million) and there were no more unsatisfied claims against her. The court said Vasilyeva caused damage to the state of about 650 million rubles ($9.6 million at the current exchange rate).

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