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Monday, November 27, 2006

Russia Fights Corruption by Convicting Crooked Prosecutors

From NYTimes.com: Two Russian prosecutors were convicted of corruption and sentenced Monday to four-year prison terms in a maximum-security prision for taking a $10,000 bribe from a construction company chief.

The verdict follows President Vladimir Putin's call last week for stronger efforts to combat corruption in law enforcement and judicial structures.

Although Russia has made fighting corruption a major goal, the problem has worsened at all government levels since Putin came to power in 2000. The global anti-corruption group Transparency International estimates that the level of graft has jumped as much as sevenfold since 2001.

Corrupt officials are estimated to take bribes of $240 billion a year, an amount almost equal to the state's entire revenue, a senior prosecutor said earlier this month.

Russia is near the top of Transparency International's scale of corruption, at No. 121 out of 163 in 2006, along with such countries as Rwanda and Burundi. Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

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