MOSCOW – Russian prosecutors are asking a court to send a former economic development minister to a high-security prison for 10 years.
Alexei Ulyukayev, the highest-ranking Russian official to have been arrested since 1993, was detained last year at the headquarters of Russia's largest oil producer, Rosneft, after a sting operation by Russia's main intelligence agency. Ulyukayev denies the charges and says Rosneft's influential chief executive Igor Sechin has set him up.
A prosecutor on Monday in his remarks during cross-examination asked the court to find Ulyukayev guilty of giving a $2 million bribe to Sechin and send him to a high-security prison for ten years as well as fining him roughly $5 million.
The circumstances of the case have ignited speculation that Ulyukayev fell victim to a Kremlin power play by Sechin, a longtime associate of President Vladimir Putin.