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    Russian court dismisses finance official’s complaint - paper

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    Russia’s Constitutional Court has dismissed an appeal by a senior Finance Ministry official who argued his embezzlement charges are based on an illegal federal law, a government daily said

    MOSCOW, August 4 (RIA Novosti) - Russia’s Constitutional Court has dismissed an appeal by a senior Finance Ministry official who argued his embezzlement charges are based on an illegal federal law, a government daily said on Tuesday.

    Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak, who oversaw foreign debt talks at the ministry and was a key figure in Russia's talks with the Paris Club, was detained in November 2007 and accused of attempting to embezzle $43 million from the state.

    According to Rossiiskaya Gazeta, Storchak appealed to the Constitutional Court to contest an amendment to the 2007 federal budget, which he said was designed to make it easier for state officials to siphon funds from the federal budget.

    Storchak said the grounds for the charges brought against him were part of the contested amendments, which he called unconstitutional.

    The Constitutional Court dismissed Storchak’s complaint, saying the amendment had not violated his constitutional rights.

    Storchak had spent 11 months in custody until he was released on a travel ban last fall, the daily said. If convicted, he faces between five and 10 years in prison.

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