Some 3,700 corruption cases launched in Russia over 2008

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Some 3,700 corruption-related criminal cases were opened in Russia during 2008, the Russian prosecutor general said on Tuesday.
MOSCOW, February 24 (RIA Novosti) - Some 3,700 corruption-related criminal cases were opened in Russia during 2008, the Russian prosecutor general said on Tuesday.

"Among those charged are officials of various levels, including heads of municipal formations, who account for some 200 people," Yury Chaika said in an interview with Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily that will be published on Wednesday.

The top Russian prosecutor said the accused also included deputy heads of some Russian regions.

"For instance, over 150 corruption-related cases were opened in the Oryol Region, including in regard to a first deputy governor of the region and former first deputy governor, who is currently in Israel. The question of his extradition is being decided," he said.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev made the fight against corruption one of his top priorities soon after his inauguration last May, signing a decree to set up a presidential anti-corruption council just two weeks after he was sworn in.

Medvedev approved a plan to counter the problem in July 2008, proposing that special units be created in every branch of government. In line with the plan, Russian military officers, customs officials, judges and police would also have to declare their property.

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