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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ingush Leader Accused of Pressuring Judges

In an unprecedented move, Ingush judges have sent a complaint to President Dmitry Medvedev, Supreme Court chief justice Vyacheslav Lebedev and Prosecutor General Yury Chaika, accusing Ingush President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov of exerting pressure on the courts, Kommersant reported Wednesday.

The judges said Yevkurov has dictated what kind of rulings they hand down by accusing them of corruption and being soft on terrorists.

Yevkurov, who initiated an anti-corruption campaign immediately after becoming president in fall 2008, has repeatedly accused local judges of issuing lax sentences to corrupt officials.

Yevkurov told Kommersant that he did not pressure judges to violate the law but to exercise it properly.

Yevkurov said 37 corruption cases, each amounting to several million dollars, have been considered by Ingush courts since he came to power, but not a single defendant has been sent to prison. All avoided prison by paying several thousand dollars in fines, he said.

The judges said their rulings were legal and noted that none had been successfully appealed in the Supreme Court.