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Professors Caught Taking Hefty Bribe

Two high-ranking professors were caught accepting a million ruble bribe for a pupil to enter a graduate school program then defend his dissertation at the prestigious Moscow State University, investigators said Wednesday.

The suspects had proposed that the student pay them 30,000 euros for the favor in early October, but the young man informed police and a sting operation was set up, the Investigative Committee said in a statement.

Viktor Baris, head of the philosophy and political science department at the Academy of Labor and Social Relations, where the student would have attended the program, and Mikhail Basharatyan, a deputy dean at Moscow State, were detained Tuesday, the statement said.

However, a university representative told the state-run RIA-Novosti news agency on Wednesday that Basharatyan was not a member of any postgraduate dissertation council and thus did not have the authority to consider a dissertation's defense.

According to the Criminal Code, the maximum punishment for a group of people who accepted a bribe upon prior collusion is 12 years behind bars.

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