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Former Bashkir Prime Minister On Trial Again

Rail Sarbayev
UFA, Russia -- A court in Ufa has reopened the trial of the former prime minister of Russia's Republic of Bashkortostan, Rail Sarbayev.

Journalists were banned from the proceedings.

Sarbayev is charged with abuse of office and the personal use of state funds.

Investigators say Sarbayev used about $50,000 of Bashkortostan’s state budget for a personal flight to Vienna in 2009.

In July, Sarbayev was acquitted after he repaid the amount in question to the state budget.

Prosecutors had demanded up to two years in prison for Sarbayev.

On November 13, Bashkortostan's Supreme Court annulled the court's decision to acquit Sarbayev and sent the case for retrial.

Sarbayev was Bashkortostan's prime minister between April 2008 and August 2010.

With reporting by Interfax