Russian ex-nuclear minister found guilty of fraud

A Moscow court has found Russia's former nuclear energy minister, Yevgeny Adamov, guilty of fraud and abuse of authority on Tuesday.

Russian ex-nuclear minister found guilty of fraud
Yevgeny Adamov, 69, had been accused of leading an organized criminal group that embezzled over 3 billion rubles (about $110 million) from the Russian budget, as well as other state enterprises and organizations, and could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison if convicted. The ex-minister denies the charges.

"The court found Adamov guilty of fraud...and abuse of authority for profit, seriously harming the interests of the [Russian] state," the judge said as he read the verdict.

Adamov, who served from 1998 to 2001 as Russia's nuclear energy minister, was originally arrested in Switzerland in May 2005 at the request of the United States, where authorities had accused him of misappropriating $9 million given to Russia for nuclear safety projects. If convicted in the U.S., Adamov would have faced up to 60 years behind bars.

He was extradited to Russia in early 2006 to face charges but was released by the Russian Supreme Court on July 21, after a total of 15 months in prison, to await trial.

In June 2007, Adamov's co-defendant in the U.S., Mark Kaushansky, was handed a 15-month prison sentence for personal and corporate tax evasion, and given a $20,000 fine. However, Kaushansky, a Russian nuclear engineer who now has U.S. residency status, was not convicted of involvement in the misappropriation of funds.

As part of a plea bargain entered by Kaushansky in September 2006, money laundering and other charges against him were dismissed.

Charges against Adamov are still pending in the U.S.

RIA Novosti

Güncelleme Tarihi: 19 Şubat 2008, 14:55