Russian lawmaker held for $1.3 mn scam

Last Updated: Sun, Apr 29, 2012 16:40 hrs

Moscow, April 29 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The speaker of a legislative assembly in Russia's far eastern region has been placed under house arrest on charges of embezzling 38 million rubles (around $1.3 million) from an oil firm, investigators said Sunday.

Yevgeny Ovechkin, speaker of Primorye Territory legislative assembly, who belongs to the ruling United Russia party, faces up to five years in jail if convicted.

His offices were raided Saturday, and an investigation has begun, police said.

Outgoing President Dmitry Medvedev has made the fight against corruption one of the cornerstones of his four years in office, but admitted that it had achieved only "modest" results.

Russia was rated 43rd out of 182 countries in NGO Transparency International's 2011 Corruption Perceptions Index.

--IANS/RIA Novosti


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