Russian minister warns of new defence corruption purge

Last Updated: Tue, Nov 20, 2012 22:10 hrs

Moscow, Nov 21 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin has warned of a new clean−out of corruption and crooked officials in the country's arms industry, following a series of high−profile scandals in the sector.

"A clean−out is inevitable," the deputy prime minister, who is in charge of the defence industry, told Kommersant.

"The pitcher goes often to the well, but is broken at last," he said.

Several corruption cases involving firms in the aerospace industry were being investigated, Rogozin said.

"If what these materials say is true, some top defence officials in the 1990s dared to register state property in the names of daughters, sons, and mothers−in−law without considering the outcome," Rogozin said.

Moscow's former ambassador to NATO, Rogozin has brought the fight against graft in the Russian defence ministry under his personal control.

"If we see that fraudulent schemes are being carried out somewhere, we immediately draw the attention of prosecutors and law enforcement bodies to this," Rogozin said.

"When new nominations are considered, we will get the special services to check candidates to see if they are friends with the law," he said.

Last week, the chief designer of Russia's GLONASS satellite navigation system, Yury Urlichich, was fired from his job over a 6.5 billion ruble ($200 million) embezzlement scandal.

The investigation into GLONASS was backed by head of the Kremlin administration, Sergei Ivanov, an ex−defence minister and Rogozin ally who said the probe into the fraud has been ongoing since 2010.

The case follows a reshuffle at the defence ministry, whose head Anatoly Serdyukov was sacked Nov 6. The official reason for the dismissal was a fraud case against his subordinates in a defence ministry property company, but some analysts in the media think it was the outcome of a turf war with Rogozin.

−−IANS/RIA Novosti


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