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    Russian Investigators Finish Probe Into Ex-Defense Minister

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    Investigators have wrapped up a criminal probe into Russia’s ex-Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, a Russian newspaper reported Monday.

    MOSCOW, December 16 (RIA Novosti) – Investigators have wrapped up a criminal probe into Russia’s ex-Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, a Russian newspaper reported Monday.

    Despite speculation that Serdyukov would be accused of a more serious crime following the investigation, business daily Kommersant reported that he remains charged with negligence for allegedly costing the state 56 million rubles ($1.7 million) by ordering soldiers to build a private road to a Caspian Sea holiday resort owned by his brother-in-law.

    Negligence carries a maximum punishment of three months in prison under Russian law.

    The ex-defense head, who was fired by President Vladimir Putin last November amid allegations of high-level corruption, may get a reprieve under a proposed amnesty for convicts and defendants that is currently under consideration by the state parliament.

    Putin submitted the bill to grant amnesty to tens of thousands of convicted criminals as a gesture of goodwill to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Constitution.

    According to various estimates, between 30,000 and 100,000 people could receive amnesty as a result of the proposal, which is expected to pass by the end of the year.

     

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