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Jailed Russian finance minister released

Oct. 22, 2008 at 9:46 AM

MOSCOW, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- A Russian finance minister says he's ready to help tackle the global financial crisis after being released from jail on pending corruption charges.

Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak had been imprisoned for nearly a year at Moscow's high-security Lefortovo jail as prosecutors built a case of attempted fraud and abuse of office against him. Released Tuesday, he declared himself ready to help Russia deal with the economic turmoil, The Moscow Times reported.

Storchak's innocence has been staunchly defended by his boss, Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, and his prosecution is mainly seen as part of a power struggle between Kremlin factions that broke out in the final months of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's time as president, the newspaper said.

Storchak was released from jail because his case has progressed to court and he can no longer influence the investigation, prosecutors said.

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