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Defense of Russian anti-corruption chief’s father to appeal against prison sentence

Viktor Zakharchenko has been sentenced to four years in prison for embezzling the funds of the Moscow Mortgage Agency bank
Viktor Zakharchenko Sergei Savostyanov/TASS
Viktor Zakharchenko
© Sergei Savostyanov/TASS

MOSCOW, April 29. /TASS/. The defense of Viktor Zakharchenko, the father of Interior Ministry Colonel Dmitry Zakharchenko (also embroiled in a corruption scandal), who has been sentenced to four years in prison for embezzling the funds of the Moscow Mortgage Agency bank, will appeal against the ruling, lawyer Denis Kalinin told TASS on Monday.

"We will definitely appeal against the sentence," he said.

The defense of the bank’s former chairman of the board Vladimir Koryevkin, handed a four-and-a-half year jail sentence, also plans to file an appeal. "We will certainly appeal against the court’s decision because there was no crime, Koryevkin did not sign any payrolls," lawyer Vyacheslav Leontyev explained.

"The prosecution failed to prove that Viktor Zakharchenko had handed money to Vladimir Koryevkin, which means the prosecution’s position is untenable," Leontyev said. "The crime's classification the indictment contains is not based on facts from the case. We will appeal against this decision because it is unjustified and unfair," he added.

The court ruled that the time the defendants had spent in pre-trial detention and under house arrest would be deducted from their prison terms, which means that Viktor Zakharchenko will have to spend one year and five months behind bars.

According to investigators, Koryevkin hired Viktor Zakharchenko despite lacking the appropriate educational background or work experience. A group made up of Zakharchenko, Koryevkin and some other unidentified individuals embezzled 1.7 mln rubles ($26,300) from the bank’s coffers between July 1, 2014, and April 15, 2015. After Koryevkin had quit his job at the bank, he was replaced by Sergei Grib, who continued to dole out a salary to Zakharchenko for a fictitious job. All in all, the damage Zakharchenko caused to the bank has been estimated at four mln rubles ($61,800).

Colonel Dmitry Zakharchenko is facing corruption charges. During some searches, about eight billion rubles ($123.7 mln) were seized from him. Investigations in relation to some of the charges have been completed.