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No Charges in Prison Boss Sex Caper

Investigators have refused to charge Russia's top prison official with illegally wiretapping his former secretary in retaliation for her refusal to have sex with him.

Analysts said the accusations against Alexander Reimer, head of the Federal Prison Service, might be linked to Reimer's decision to fire three dozen senior prison officials in 2010.

A woman, identified by investigators by the pseudonym Yekaterina Mishina, accused Reimer of ordering the illegal wiretapping of her telephone conversations in retaliation for her refusal to have sex with him, Izvestia reported Tuesday.

Mishina, who worked as Reimer's secretary from his appointment to the post in August 2009 through May 2011, filed a complaint with the Investigative Committee, the Prosecutor General's Office and an unspecified court in the summer of 2011, Izvestia said.

The Investigative Committee said on its website Tuesday that it had carried out a check and found no evidence supporting a former female prison worker's complaint that her colleagues had misused their authority. No one was identified in the agency's statement.

Mishina's complaint was combined with wiretapping complaints from three other prison officers — General Nikolai Starodubtsev, Colonel Vitaly Nakonechny and Lieutenant-Colonel Sergei Girich — who were earlier cleared of charges of defrauding the state budget of hundreds of millions of rubles while buying equipment for the Federal Prison Service, Izvestia said.

Reached by phone, Alexander Kromin, a spokesman for the Federal Prison Service, refused to comment on the accusations against Reimer.

Since Reimer was promoted by President Dmitry Medvedev from the post of the Samara region's top cop, he has overseen a series of reforms, including the improvement of prison facilities and layoffs aimed at increasing the salaries of the remaining prison staff.

Reimer made many enemies when he fired about 20 generals and a dozen lower-ranking prison officials in the summer of 2010, said Kirill Kabanov, head of the nongovernmental National Anti-Corruption Committee, Izvestia reported.

With the mass firings of prison officials, "Medvedev's supporters got access to huge financial resources," Stanislav Belkovsky, an independent political analyst and one-time Kremlin insider, told in 2010.

Reimer, 53, is a protege of Justice Minister Alexander Konovalov, a close ally of Medvedev, and at the agency he succeeded Yury Kalinin, who had close links to Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin, himself a close ally of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, reported, citing a Russian Newsweek report.

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