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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Air Force General Sentenced

A Russian air force general was given a five-year suspended sentence on Thursday for misappropriating state funds while serving with Soviet forces in Germany, Itar-Tass said.


A top military court ruled that Nikolai Seliverstov, former first deputy commander of the 16th Air Force, had misappropriated 29,000 marks ($19,000) he received from a German company that was earmarked for a Russian military airfield.


He originally had been charged with embezzling more than 60,000 marks and taking bribes totalling 20,000 marks. A prosecutor in the case said if all the charges were proved Seliverstov could go to jail for 15 years.


Seliverstov, 49, had pleaded not guilty and denied there was any corruption in the Western Army Group, which served in former East Germany. The group has been the focus of corruption allegations in the Russian media for months.


In October an investigative reporter, Dmitry Kholodov, who was probing alleged corruption in the Western Army Group, was killed when a booby-trapped briefcase blew up.


Top brass in the Russian defense ministry have denied reports of corruption. But in the aftermath of the killing President Boris Yeltsin dismissed former first deputy defense minister Matvei Burlakov, who had commanded the entire Russian force in Germany "to preserve the honor of the Russian armed forces."