|Corruption Caseload in Russia Increased in 2008, Medvedev Says|
|March 15, 2009|
By Stephen Bierman
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said the number of investigations into corruption allegations against public officials increased in 2008 and that Russia’s battle with graft has entered a difficult period.
“Over the past year there have been 40,000 criminal cases brought against those who violate state rules while in public service or local government,” Medvedev said in an interview posted on the Kremlin Web site. “I am not even commenting on whether this is a big number or a small one, although it is more than in 2007.”
The president said 12,000 of the cases involved bribery.
Medvedev, a lawyer who took office 10 months ago, has called corruption a threat to national security and has made the fight against “legal nihilism” a priority of his presidency. Medvedev signed a decree last week creating a five-year program to fight corruption.
“Now comes the most difficult part, the period during which we have to implement these laws,” Medvedev said.
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