MOSCOW, March 29 (RAPSI) – A prosecutor on Thursday asked a court to sentence ex-chief of the Investigative Committee’s Internal Security Directorate Mikhail Maksimenko charged with taking $550,000 in bribes to15 years in prison, his lawyer Andrey Grivtsov told RAPSI.

Additionally, the prosecutor asked to fine the defendant 165 million rubles ($2.8 million).

According to prosecutors, in 2016, Maksimenko and his accomplice received $500,000 bribe for help with one of criminal cases. He is also charged with taking $50,000 bribe in 2015 for organizing unlawful criminal prosecution of law enforcement officers in the interests of a bribe-giver.

The defendant has been arrested along with other high-ranking investigators, his deputy Alexander Lamonov and the First Deputy Head of the Investigative Committee’s Moscow Directorate, General Denis Nikandrov.

The three officers were detained as part of a case over extortion of 8 million rubles (about $138,000 at the current exchange rate) that involved an alleged gang leader Zakhariy Kalashov, who was sentenced to 9 years and 10 months in a high security penal colony on March 29.

In addition, investigators believe that former investigators extorted 10 million rubles (about $170,000) from a head of a large joint-stock company. The defendants deny their connections to Kalashov and he denied those as well.