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PERM, January 22 (Itar-Tass) — The parties in the fatal nightclub fire case will begin to present their arguments Perm's Lenin district court said on Tuesday. Prosecutor for the state Vadim Kazarinov said it might take days.
"The presentation of arguments will continue for as long as necessary; it may last a week, because eight defendants have some 20 lawyers," Kazarinov said.
The inquest ended on December 2012, and the date for the parties' arguments was initially set for January 10. However, it had to be postponed due to the absence of key defendant Anatoly Zak, who is having rehabilitation therapy at hospital # 9 of the town of Solikamsk.
Earlier, the court extended Zak's arrest to June 8, 2013.
The trial began on October 4, 2010. The hearings are open to the public.
The fire at the Perm nightclub broke out overnight to December 5, 2009, as it was marking the first anniversary of its establishment. One hundred and fifty-six people died of carbon monoxide and other toxic combustion gases poisoning and another 65 suffered serious harm to health. The authorities recognized 404 people to be the victims within the criminal case.
On June 4, 2010, the Investigative Committee (SK) brought the finalized charges against eight people, including co-founder of the Lame Horse cafe Anatoly Zak, executive director Svetlana Yefremova, and art director Oleg Fetkulov. They were charged with the commission of the crime covered by Article 238, Part 3 of Russia's Criminal Code (provision of services that fail to meet the requirements for the safety of life or health of consumers, which resulted through negligence in the death of two or more persons).
The firework show organizers (the Derbenev father and son) were charged with violating the rules for the use of explosives, flammable substances and pyrotechnic products.
According to the SK, the fire broke out during the show with the so-called "cold fireworks." At first, foam plastic that lined the ceiling caught fire. The investigators also blamed the improper performance of duties by fire inspectorate personnel, who had failed to expose various violations of the fire safety regulations at the cafe.
The case materials comprise 120 volumes. In the course of the probe, the court arrested Zak's assets and property. Zak, who is the founder or co-founder of 28 commercial firms, owns 18 real estate facilities.
“Lame Horse” co-owner Konstantin Mrykhin was detained in Spain and extradited to Russia. On May 14, 2012, Perm's Lenin district court sentenced him to 6.5 years in a general regime penitentiary and ordered to pay 200 million roubles in compensation to victims.