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    RUSSIA'S PROSECUTOR GENERAL SUSPECTS HIGH RANKING OFFICIAL OF BRIBERY

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    MOSCOW, MARCH 1 (RIA NOVOSTI) - The federal Prosecutor General's men suspect big functionary Grigory Barabanov of graft. He heads the labor migration department at the Federal Migration Service under the Interior Ministry.

    The top prosecutor's investigators are questioning Barabanov on a criminal case which involves several prominent department employees on suspected bribery and abuse of office, says an Interior Ministry officer.

    Yuri Prokofiev, Grigory Barabanov's deputy, was caught red-handed this morning. He had extorted $400 US from several Italian soccer players to authorize their coach employment with the known Moscow-based club Spartak. Prokofiev was arrested by officers of the Interior Ministry Internal Affairs Division, which monitors law enforcement agencies' legal compliance. Bribery proceedings were launched, and the file passed to the top prosecutor's men.

    Irina Ulakhovich, chief department inspector, is also involved. Detectives have been shadowing the controversial officers for about a year to stock up sufficient evidence of several criminal instances, a internal affairs division spokesman said to Novosti.

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