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Russia’s high court asked to launch inquiry after ex-defense official Vasilyeva walks free

August 28, 2015, 17:48 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The announcement that Yevgeniya Vasilyeva convicted for large-scale embezzlement walked free less than four months after being convicted to five years in jail has sparked public outcry
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Yevgeniya Vasilyeva

Yevgeniya Vasilyeva

© TASS/Sergei Fadeichev

MOSCOW, August 28. /TASS/. Russia’s Civic Chamber has urged the Supreme Court to launch an inquiry into a judge who has granted parole to ex-defense official Yevgeniya Vasilyeva convicted for large-scale embezzlement.

The press service of the Civic Chamber, a governmental civil society oversight body created by the president in the early 2000s, said a letter has been sent to the Supreme Court chairman, Vyacheslav Lebedev.

Vasilyeva, the former chief of Russia's Defense Ministry property department at the center of the scandal with the illegal sale of ministry’s property, known as the Oboronservis case, was released on parole on August 25.

The announcement that the ex-defense official, a blonde known for her extravagant lifestyle, walked free less than four months after being convicted to five years in jail has sparked public outcry. Vasilyeva had spent two and a half years under house arrest before she was sent to a penal colony in central Russia in May 2015.

Russia’s Internet community and bloggers later called for checks into the activity of Judge Ilya Galagan of the Sudogodsky district court, in central Russia, who announced that Vasilyeva should be released "immediately."

"The bloggers who analyzed 29 verdicts passed by the judge into various criminal cases came to conclusion that that the judgements in many cases were clearly ambiguous and often did not fit the severe crimes," the letter says.

"Taking into consideration the special severity of the crime committed by Yevgeniya Vasilyeva, who is now freed after a decision on her immediate parole, I ask you to send the above mentioned decision for consideration to the High Qualification Collegium of Judges in Russia," a member of the Civic Chamber, Georgy Fedorov, said.

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