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MOSCOW, August 26 (Itar-Tass) - The Moscow’s Ostankino District Court ruled on Monday that Russian pop singer Vitas (stage name of Vitaly Grachev) must pay a penalty of 100,000 rubles for the use of force against a policeman, Itar-Tass reports from the courtroom.
At the beginning of the court session on Monday, the singer pleaded guilty and asked the court to consider the case in a special procedure.
This procedure is envisaged when the defendant pleads guilty. The hearing of the case proceeds without the questioning of witnesses for the defense and the prosecution, and no other facts of evidence are looked into. The punishment in this case must not exceed two thirds of maximally possible.
Addressing the court, the singer said he was upset by what had happened at the VVTs (Exhibition of National Economic Achievements) on May 10, when his car hit a bicycle and he applied force against police officers. He said however, that many accusations against him had been “falsified”. “I want to apologize to the policeman,” he said. The prosecutor asked for a penalty of 130,000 rubles taking into consideration his repentance, the fact that he was the father of a small daughter, and had a certificate of good conduct from his place of employment and neighbors.
Singer’s lawyer Sergei Zhorin insisted that the bicycle hit by the car had been put under it. “We are yet to look into who did that and for what purpose,” he said. He said however, that violence against police was inadmissible.
On May 10, the car driven by Vitas hit bike rider Olga Kholodova. According to eyewitnesses, he tried to vanish from the scene, and then refused to undergo medical examination. Eyewitnesses made a video recording that showed him kicking a policeman and using strong language.
Initially criminal proceedings were launched against the singer on two articles, including a threat to kill and insult aimed at a person in position of authority. However, after thoroughly analyzing the case the investigators dropped these accusations, accusing Vitas only of using violence against a law enforcement officer.