MOSCOW, November 22. /TASS/. The defense team of former Russian Economic Development Minister Alexey Ulyukayev accused of taking a $2 mln bribe, will not ask to read the testimony by the CEO of Russia’s Rosneft oil giant, Igor Sechin, but will insist on his appearance in court, a TASS correspondent reported.
"Russia’s Criminal Procedure Code provides for a limited list of conditions, under which testimony can be announced in court. We will insist on Sechin’s appearance [in court]," Defense Attorney Timofei Gridnev said.
Under Section 281 of Russia’s Criminal Procedure Code, if a victim or witness fails to appear in court, a court, at the request of the party or on its own initiative, can make a decision on reading out the earlier evidence in a number of cases: such as the death of a witness, his serious illness, in case of a witness’s refusal, if he or she is a foreign national, in the event of a natural disaster or other emergency circumstances preventing him or her from appearing in court and also in case of failure to locate the victim or a witness after measures have been taken.
Sechin did not attend the November 13 and 15 court sessions, where he was due to be questioned as a witness by the prosecution in Ulyukayev’s case. The Rosneft CEO earlier told reporters that he would not be able to attend the court session, as he would be on a business trip to the Khanty-Mansi Region in West Siberia.
Ulyukayev was taken into custody on November 14, 2016, while allegedly receiving a $2 mln bribe in exchange for the Economic Development Ministry’s consent to give the go-ahead to the oil major Rosneft’s acquisition of a 50.08% stake in another oil company, Bashneft, and was subsequently put under house arrest. On November 15, President Vladimir Putin dismissed Ulyukayev from his high-ranking post citing loss of trust.