Russia's ex-economy minister Alexei Ulyukayev, accused of taking a bribe, attends his sentencing hearing at the Zamoskvoretsky district court in Moscow on December 15, 2017. / AFP / Maxim ZMEYEV
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A Russian court on Friday found former economy minister Alexei Ulyukayev guilty of taking in $2-million bribe from an ally of President Vladimir Putin, in a case that could see him jailed for up to a decade.Ulyukayev is the highest-ranking official arrested in Putin's 17 years in power.Ulyukayev made an effort to joke with reporters in court before the ruling.Sechin told investigators that Ulyukayev had demanded the bribe in return for backing a controversial deal in which Rosneft acquired a stake in Bashneft, another state-run oil group.Ulyukayev had originally opposed the sale of the stake to Rosneft but later endorsed it after Putin said it would help fill state coffers.Sechin has failed to attend court hearings despite being summoned as a witness.
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