PERM, April 27 (Itar-Tass) —— The Perm Leninsky District Court started hearing the case of Konstantin Mrykhin, a co-owner of the Perm Lame Horse nightclub, which caught fire killing 156 people in December 2009.
Mrykhin pleaded guilty and told the court he repented.
His case was separated from others; there will be no evaluation of evidence or questioning of witnesses. Besides, the defendant will be sentenced to no more than two-thirds of the maximal punishment.
The hearing may last from one to three days, and the court will recess for drafting the sentence, public prosecutor Vadim Kazarinov said.
Mrykhin was charged with rendering insecure services, which led to heavy physical damage or more than two deaths (Part 3, Article 238 of the Russian Criminal Code).
Mrykhin and his wife were at the nightclub when the fire started but he managed to escape from the burning building. His wife was taken to the Perm hospital in a serious condition and moved to St. Petersburg for further therapy. Meanwhile, Mrykhin fled Russia on December 17, 2009. He was put on the federal wanted list in March 2010 and on the international wanted list in May 2010.
Mrykhin was taken into custody in Barcelona in August 2011 and transferred to Russia in June 2011.
The Perm Leninsky District Court started hearing the case of other suspects – club owner Anatoly Zak, Executive Director Svetlana Yefremova and Art Director Oleg Fetkulov – in October 2010. Other prisoners in the dock are Igor and Sergei Derbenev, the father and son who organized the fireworks at the nightclub. They were charged with breaching the rules of use of pyrotechnics, which caused heavy physical harm and deaths by negligence. Also, former chief state fire inspector of the Perm territory Vladimir Mukhutdinov was accused of the abuse of office, and Perm territorial fire inspectors Dmitry Roslyakov and Natalia Prokopyeva were charged with culpable negligence.
The fire broke out in the early morning hours of December 5, 2009. The nightclub was celebrating its anniversary. The indoor fireworks sparked fire, which spread to the synthetic foam ceiling. The blaze and smoke spread around quickly, people panicked and jammed the club exists. A total of 156 people died of burns and CO poisoning, and 64 sustained heavy physical damage. The medium damage was done to the health of nine people, and seven people suffered light damage. In all, 404 people were recognized as aggrieved parties. The case comprises 100 volumes.