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Russian Ex-Economic Development Minister Ulyukaev Sentenced to 8 Years for Graft

© Sputnik / Iliya Pitalev / Go to the photo bankCourt examines investigators' request on extending Alexei Ulyukayev's arrest warrant
Court examines investigators' request on extending Alexei Ulyukayev's arrest warrant - Sputnik International
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Ulyukaev was accused of accepting a $2-million bribe for allowing Rosneft to buy the state's shares of the Bashneft oil company. The former minister refuted the accusations, saying that the case was fabricated.

A Moscow court ruled on Friday that ex-Russian Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukaev is guilty of accepting a bribe as an official and sentenced him to 8 years in penal colony, a Sputnik correspondent reported from the courtroom.

In addition, the former minister was fined more than 130 million roubles for bribe taking.

According to the judge's verdict, Ulyukaev used authority of his position to demand a bribe from Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin, at the same time promising Sechin to further impede the work of the company in case of refusal.

READ MORE: Court Questions First 2 Witnesses in Bribery Case of Ex-Minister Ulyukayev

The defense stated, without listening to the verdict up to the end, that the sentence would be appealed.

Russian Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev who was detained by law enforcement officials on corruption charges, attends a hearing at the Basmanny district court in Moscow, Russia, November 15, 2016. - Sputnik International
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Ulyukaev, 61, was charged with extorting a bribe from state oil company Rosneft, in the first ever corruption case in Russia involving a federal minister.

The Investigative Committee said in November that Ulyukayev was caught in the act of being handed a bag containing $2 million by Sechin for a positive appraisal that allowed Russian energy company Rosneft to buy the state's shares of the Bashneft oil company.

Ulyukaev denies his guilt, saying that he believed there were bottles of expensive wine in the bag, that Sechin had allegedly promised him to celebrate the success of the deal.

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