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Prosecution and defense challenge City Without Drugs "imprisonment" sentence

December 03, 2013, 15:44 UTC+3 YEKATERINBURG
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YEKATERINBURG, December 03. /ITAR-TASS/. Prosecution and defense lawyers have appealed against sentencing in the unlawful imprisonment case against Igor Shabalin, a City Without Drugs foundation employee.

"The verdict has been appealed against due to incorrect classification of crime and leniency of penalty," spokeswoman for the regional prosecutor's office Lidia Smirnova told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.

During respective arguments in the case, the prosecutor had demanded that Shabalin should serve five-and-a-half years in a general regime penitentiary. But defence lawyers at Sverdlovsk regional court sought Shabalin's complete acquittal.

Berezovsky town court sentenced Shabalin to 2 years and 4 months in jail, finding him guilty of unlawful imprisonment of seven patients of the foundation, set up by Yekaterinburg mayor Yevgeny Roizman.

Vice-president of the foundation Yevgeny Melnin is another suspect in the case. He had been on the wanted list for about a year before police detained him on November 22 and has been in custody since then.

Tatyana Kazantseva, one of nine foundation patients who prosecutors said had been "illegally deprived of freedom", died of meningitis as a result of untimely medical assistance.

"However the court failed to find evidence to confirm accusations that a group of persons including the foundation vice-president was involved in her death," Yekaterinburg mayor Roizman said of the verdicts.

"The charges collapsed. The court also confirmed Shabalin had nothing to do with Kazantseva's death either," Roizman said.

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