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17:25 GMT +3 hours21 December 2014
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Russia

Duma Queries Media Committee Nominee

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The State Duma Ethics Commission will request information from law enforcement agencies over graft allegations against Alexei Mitrofanov, who has been nominated as head of the lower house’s media committee, Communist MP Andrei Andreyev said on Thursday.

The State Duma Ethics Commission will request information from law enforcement agencies over graft allegations against Alexei Mitrofanov, who has been nominated as head of the lower house’s media committee, Communist MP Andrei Andreyev said on Thursday.

A pensioner, Vyacheslav Zharov, has sent a telegram to the Duma asking it to suspend Mitrofanov’s membership over the potential corruption charges he faces.

Zharov alleged that on May 12, 2012 a criminal case was formally opened into the “acquisition of ill-gotten gains” and that prior to that Mitrofanov was detained, among others, as a 2.25 million ruble ($70,000) bribe was changing hands. Mitrofanov was released soon after in line with the immunity from prosecution enjoyed by Duma deputies.

The ethics commission will also seek an explanation from Mitrofanov himself, Andreyev said.

Mitrofanov was earlier expelled from A Just Russia for going against a party decision and voting to confirm Dmitry Medvedev as prime minister.

The Liberal Democratic Party of Russia faction has nominated Mitrofanov as media committee head and the ruling United Russia party backed the nomination.