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Ex-economy minister Ulyukayev sentenced to 8 years in jail

Attorneys for the former minister intend to appeal the verdict
Alexey Ulyukayev Sergei Bobylev/TASS
Alexey Ulyukayev
© Sergei Bobylev/TASS

MOSCOW, December 15. /TASS/. Moscow’s Zamoskvoretsky court on Friday sentenced former Russian Economic Development Minister Alexey Ulyukayev to eight years in a maximum security correctional facility and a 130-mln ruble ($2.2 mln) fine for taking a bribe.

"The court also banned Ulyukayev from serving as a state official for eight years even after he will have served out his sentence," the judge said.

Following the announcement, Ulyukayev was then taken into custody and escorted from the courtroom. "The sentence is clear," the former minister told the judge.

State prosecutors had urged the court to sentence Ulyukayev, 61, to 10 years behind bars and a maximum 500-mln ruble fine ($8.5 mln). The former minister lambasted this as "a death penalty."

The court took into account some mitigating circumstances, namely that he has two underage children and elderly parents, various honors and achievements, in addition to his good conduct.

Attorneys for the former minister intend to appeal the verdict.

Ulyukayev was detained on November 14, 2016, when receiving a $2 mln bribe in exchange for the Economic Development Ministry’s consent to give the go-ahead to Rosneft’s acquisition of a 50.08% stake in another oil company, Bashneft, and was put under house arrest.

The ex-minister’s trial lasted for four months and one week. Ulyukayev was Russia’s first federal minister to have been detained while in office. In November 2016, President Vladimir Putin dismissed Ulyukayev from his high-ranking post citing loss of trust.