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Fewer Corruption Cases Making It to Court

The Prosecutor General's Office told the State Duma that cases of corruption increased last year, but fewer of them reached court.

First Deputy Prosecutor General Alexander Buksman sent the Duma a report on its battle against corruption that said the agency's staff uncovered 312,330 incidents of corruption in 2011 — almost 40 percent more than in 2010.

The Prosecutor General's Office said the audit of officials' incomes ordered by President Dmitry Medvedev contributed heavily to the increase in cases and that infractions associated with the use of government property rose 21 percent and those connected with state orders were up 16 percent.

There was an 8 percent increase in the number of criminal cases initiated in connection with corruption, but a 4 percent reduction in the number that made it to court, from 12,317 in 2010 to 11,921 last year. About a 10th of the cases were sent back by the courts for further work.

Alexander Khinshtein, deputy chairman of the State Duma committee on security and combating corruption, said it is difficult to assess the efforts made against corruption in numerical terms, since petty bribe-takers tend to be caught and made whipping boys.

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