Sunday, 2 May 2010

Moscow State University rocked by bribe scandal

One of Russia's most prestigious universities has been rocked by scandal after a lecturer at Moscow State University was caught accepting a million rouble ($34,200) bribe.

But Polina Surina, 26, has been bailed after two days in jail following the intervention of some seemingly influential contacts.

The lecturer in the Government Management departure was filmed taking the money in return for helping a prospective student enroll on a course.

And she was later arrested with the marked banknotes in her possession.

But on-line publications report that Surina - whose father Alexei Surin happens to be dean of the Government Management faculty - could get off scot free, with various officials urging the prosecutor's office to drop the case.

According to the Prosecutors Office, Polina promised to help a prospective student secure a spot at her father's department. A criminal case has been opened into the matter, which Surin described as "a provocation".

Communist Party deputy Nina Ostanina told she has been approached by several people close to the case, who have told her that there is a lot of pressure to make the criminal case disappear. She has written a letter to Chief Prosecutor, Yuri Chaika, urging him to take a close look into the matter.

There is a fear that Polina, who was released before the investigation was complete, may flee the country.

Her father is said to be looking for a lawyer. "I don't have all the information," said Surin of the case against his daughter.

He says he's only seen the report that was filed at her detainment. "I am convinced that my daughter is not at fault here, and that it's a provocation."

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