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Serdyukov Says Road Under Investigation Built for Discounts at Recreation Center

Correction appended

Former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov told investigators on Tuesday that a road at the center of an ongoing corruption scandal was built so that military personnel could get discounted stays at a nearby recreation center, a news report said Wednesday.

The road's construction has been at the center of an investigation involving several criminal charges, and it raised suspicion with investigators because it leads to the Zhitnoye recreation center owned by Serdyukov's brother-in-law, Valery Puzikov.

But Serdyukov told investigators Tuesday that the center had promised to provide discounted stays for the personnel of a nearby air-defenses unit, Kommersant reported.

Serdyukov voluntarily came forward with the additional testimony about the road to show that he was not involved in any wrongdoing, said Genrikh Padva, his lawyer.

The former defense minister refused to answer questions earlier when responding to two previous summons from investigators, citing Article 51 of the Constitution, which protects against self-incrimination.

Serdyukov is a witness in an investigation into the road's construction and the use of conscript labor at the recreation center.

Investigators say the effort caused a 15.5 million ruble ($500,000) loss to the state budget.

Serdyukov was ousted as defense minister last fall amid this and other ministry-related corruption investigations.

Due to an editing error, an earlier version of this article described Valery Puzikov as Anatoly Serdyukov's son-in-law.

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