High-ranking Defense Ministry official charged with bribery makes plea bargain
MOSCOW, March 25 (RAPSI) - Alexander Gorshkolepov, deputy head of the property relations department of the Russian Defense Ministry, who stands charged with taking bribes, accepted a plea deal, Interfax reported on Wednesday, citing a source familiar with the matter.
The case therefore will be considered under a special procedure which ensures a trial without reviewing the evidence or having witness testimonies, and will secure the defendant no more than 2/3 from the maximum possible liability according to the charges, according to Russian law.
The ex-director of an Oboronservis company, Sergei Drobysh, who is believed to have acted as Gorshkolepov’s agent, will sign a plea agreement in coming days, according to the agency’s source.
Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said that in 2013 Gorshkolepov took at least 2 million rubles ($34,000) in bribes for helping assign people to desired positions. Gorshkolepov and his relatives also received various services valued at over 1 million rubles ($17,000) combined.
The penalties for these crimes include a fine 80 to 100 times larger than the bribe and a prison sentence of up to 15 years.
In early March, Moscow's Savyolovsky District Court ordered the detention of Gorshkolepov until May 3.
Markin said the crime was exposed with help from the Defense Ministry’s top officials.
Gorshkolepov is the first senior Defense Ministry official to have been arrested on corruption charges after Sergei Shoigu was appointed defense minister in 2012.