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Lawyer Connected With Russian Defense Ministry Corruption Case Sentenced

Yekaterina Smetanova

A former lawyer has received a four year suspended sentence and a 6.5 million ruble ($100,000) fine in a corruption case involving the Defense Ministry, the RBC news website reported Thursday.

Yekaterina Smetanova was involved in a number of schemes related to the sale of ministry properties at below-market prices.

The crime took place while former government official Yevgenia Vasilyeva, a close friend of Smetanova's, served at the head of Oboronservis, a Defense Ministry subsidiary in charge of selling off unrequired Defense Ministry property.

Smetanova was found guilty of large-scale fraud and commercial bribery, RBC reported, citing spokeswoman for Moscow's Presnensky district court, Nina Yurkova. The trial took place behind closed doors.

Smetanova was one of the first defendants arrested in the case. She confessed to the crime and cooperated with the investigators in exchange for a reduced sentence.

The case's key suspect, Yevgenia Vasilyeva, was sentenced to five years in prison but released on parole three months later. Most of the other defendants have also already been released.

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