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    Court acquits ex-governor in Russia's Far East

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    A court in the city of Blagoveshchensk acquitted on Monday former governor of the Far Eastern Amur Region, who was sacked by then president Vladimir Putin in 2007 over abuse of office allegations.

    A court in the city of Blagoveshchensk acquitted on Monday former governor of the Far Eastern Amur Region, who was sacked by then president Vladimir Putin in 2007 over abuse of office allegations.

    Prosecutors accused Leonid Korotkov of raising electricity rates to illegally bankroll the local soccer team, buying vehicles at inflated prices and paying 16 million rubles ($620,000) to a mining company for a controlling stake that was allegedly never transferred to the regional government.

    The official faced up to seven years in prison and a hefty fine.

    The defense, however, convinced the judges that their client was innocent and acted in line with his responsibilities. A probe into his activities showed that no harm to the budget or to local residents had been done.

    Korotkov's successor, Nikolai Kolesov was dismissed by President Dmitry Medvedev in October 2008, after a little more than a year in the post, over accusations of corruption and abuse of office.

     

    BLAGOVESHCHENSK, December 27 (RIA Novosti)

     

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