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Serdyukov Approved Terms of Oboronservis Sales, Report Says

Former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov personally approved the terms of sales of Oboronservis assets at the heart of an ongoing corruption scandal, Izvestia reported Monday.

Serdyukov allegedly ordered the Defense Ministry's former property relations chief Yevgenia Vasilyeva to develop a plan for the reorganization of Defense Ministry enterprises that saw a state design institute closed down and its assets sold off, the newspaper reported, citing a copy of the reorganization plans.

In addition, citing the testimony of another witness in the case, the newspaper reported that Serdyukov controlled voting by Oboronservis board members on all matters concerning asset sales.

Ten criminal lawsuits have been filed against Defense Ministry officials in connection with the Oboronservis case.

The sales of real estate, shares and military equipment at below-market prices caused Defense Ministry budget losses of about 4 billion rubles.

Serdyukov, who was dismissed from his post by President Vladimir Putin last November, is currently considered a witness in the case but investigators have warned that his status could change.

Several other people, including Vasilyeva and Serdyukov's brother-in-law Valery Puzikov, have been taken into custody or are under house arrest in connection with the case.

Investigative Committee head Alexander Bastrykin said a full investigation into the Oboronservis case would take at least a year.

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