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Court refuses to drop criminal charges in case of ex-Economy Minister Ulyukayev

Ulyukayev is accused of taking a bribe of $2 million

MOSCOW, August 8. /TASS/. The Zamoskvoretsky Court in Moscow has refused to drop criminal charges in case of former Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev, who is accused of taking a bribe of $2 million, the prosecutor in the case told TASS.

"The defense asked to drop (charges), the court refused," he said, answering the agency's question.

Earlier the lawyers of the former minister asked the court to drop criminal charges due to the lack of proof of their client’s guilt.

The defense of Ulyukaev did not comment on the results of the preliminary hearing, that was held on Tuesday.

"The meeting was held behind closed doors, you will find out everything on August 16 in court," lawyer of the former minister Timofei Gridnev said.

Russia’s Investigative Committee charged Ulyukaev under Part 6 of Article 290 of Russia’s Criminal Code ("Taking a bribe by a person holding public office in the RF, in a particularly large amount"). The former minister does not admit his guilt.

Detention of the federal minister, which was the first one in history of modern Russia, took place on November 14, 2016. According to the Investigative Committee, Ulyukayev was detained on receiving a bribe of $2 mln. The bribe was given for the ministry’s positive expertise in privatization of Bashneft oil company. That allowed Rosneft to buy out 50.08% of Bashneft shares from the state. Moreover, according to the investigation, the case concerns extortion coupled with threats to representatives of Rosneft.

On November 15, 2016, President Vladimir Putin dismissed Ulyukayev from his post in connection with the loss of confidence. The former minister is under house arrest, which has been extended until January 27, 2018.