PERM, January 22 (Itar-Tass) — The Prosecutor for the state at the trial of the case over the fatal fire at a Perm nightclub said the visitors had not been notified about a fireworks show. "It was announced on the radio that the celebration would be held without fireworks," prosecutor Vadim Kazarinov said at Perm's Lenin district court where the parties began the presentation of their arguments earlier on Tuesday.
"Sparks from fireworks ignited the ceiling cover in the guest hall. The cafe design did not envision organized evacuation of people regardless of their age or physical condition," he noted, stressing that "it resulted in the death of 156 people."
He also drew the court's attention to the fact that according to a club's waitress, who is an injured party, the personnel had not been briefed on fire safety rules. Also, the nightclub's personnel were not aware that the administration had violated them.
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. At the Tuesday hearing, he apologized for his absence on January 10
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.