“Don’t forget the basket”. Ulyukaev’s bribery filmed
The audio record of the conversation between the former Minister and head of Rosneft Igor Sechin was reproduced today in court.
In Zamoskvoretsky Court of Moscow, where the case against former Head of the Ministry of Economic Development Alexey Ulyukaev is heard, there was disclosed previously unknown details of the official's arrest.
As it turned out, on October 27, head of Rosneft Igor Sechin and FSB General Oleg Feoktistov, who headed the security service of the oil company at the time, wrote an application to FSB director Alexander Bortnikov. The document said that the then Minister, Alexey Ulyukaev, demanded a $2 million bribe from Sechin. Ulyukaev allegedly threatened the company with "significant financial losses" in case of non-payment of the indicated amount. According to the accusation, the Head of the Ministry of Economic Development extorted a bribe for the Ministry that he headed issued a positive conclusion on the purchase of Bashneft’s 50.08% stake from the state.
The materials of the case indicate that Sechin agreed to participate in the operational experiment. The prosecutor also said that the fact of the bribe transfer was recorded on audio and video. In court, the audio recording of Sechin's conversation with Ulyukaev was reproduced. During the conversation on November 14, 2016 (the date of the arrest of the Minister), the head of Rosneft appeals to the official on first-name terms, marveling at how easily he is dressed. Sechin also apologizes for being dragged out with a task: "There and here, while the sum was collected." Meanwhile, he does not say anything concrete. At parting the head of the oil company said to his interlocutor: "Don’t forget the basket," to which the official replied: "Uh-huh." Ulyukaev's lawyers noted that the talk was about a commission, the content of which has not yet been disclosed. The accused himself promises to tell about it when "time comes".
In court, the prosecutor also said that the Minister at the time of the arrest said that there was a gift in the form of wine in the bag where the bills were. The bag was inspected with the participation of witnesses in the office of Rosneft, it had money processed by the luminescent staff. The same substance was found in the hands of Ulyukaev and his driver during the examination. However, it was previously reported that the official and his driver touched only the handles of the bag, which were also processed by the liquid.
The defense drew the court's attention to the fact that the prosecution had insisted before that Ulyukaev demanded a bribe from Sechin at the BRICS summit in India. And now, following the statement of Sechin and Feoktistov, it turns out that the demand for money from the Minister was received in Moscow in October.
Recall that Ulyukaev himself, who is under house arrest, does not admit his guilt and calls the incident a provocation on the part of "a corrupt management and special services." In particular, he accused Sechin and Feoktistov of provocations.
Several new criminal cases against corrupt officials have been instituted in Dagestan. The high-ranked suspects include Abdulmedzhid Suleimanov, ex-Mayor of Izberbash; Amir Magomedov, ex-Head of the Izberbash Administration; Magomed Dzhelilov, Head of the Derbent District; and El’dar Karagishiev, Head of the Babayurt District. In the past, all of them were suspected of similar crimes – but somehow managed to get off the hook. The new arrests occur amid the anti-corruption campaign in the republican law enforcement structures. What are the true reasons behind the new wave of the personnel purge? Can the anti-corruption slogans conceal a fierce battle waged by local clans for redistribution of assets with the purpose to create a new ‘untouchable’ elite in Dagestan?