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Moscow court sentences police colonel Zakharchenko to 13 years behind bars

The court also set a fine to the tune of about $1.8 mln, stripping Zakharchenko of his titles and state awards
Dmitry Zakharchenko Sergei Savostyanov/TASS
Dmitry Zakharchenko
© Sergei Savostyanov/TASS

MOSCOW, June 10. /TASS/. Moscow’s Presnensky Court has sentenced Russian police colonel Dmitry Zakharchenko, who has been found guilty of taking large-scale bribes and obstructing justice, to 13 years behind bars, TASS reports from the courtroom.

"[The court] hereby finds the defendant, Zakharchenko, guilty, and sentences him cumulatively to 13 years behind bars in a maximum security correctional facility," judge Elena Abramova stated.

The court also set a fine to the tune of 117 mln rubles (about $1.8 mln), stripping Zakharchenko of his titles and state awards.

Zakharchenko’s lawyers aim to appeal the sentence.

The public prosecutor had demanded sentencing Zakharchenko to 15 years and six months in a high-security prison facility and ordering him to pay a fine to the tune of 495 mln rubles ($7.6 mln). The prosecution also aims to appeal the sentence due to the fact that the court had acquitted Zakharchenko of one charge of corruption, related to the 2014 bribe taken from the La Mare restaurant owner.

Zakharchenko case

Zakharchenko was arrested in September 2016 on charges of bribe taking and abuse of office. During the search of his apartments, some 9 bln rubles ($139 mln) in various currencies were found. According to investigators, in 2014, Zakharchenko and his accomplice initiated checks at a number of enterprises belonging to the owner of the La Mare restaurant Mehdi Douss. He was forced to pay an $800,000 bribe instead of $5 mln, which was originally demanded. Maj. Gen. Alexei Laushkin and FSB Col. Dmitry Senin acted as mediators during the bribe handover operation.

In 2015, Zakharchenko and his accomplice demanded that Douss give them a 50% discount in his restaurant in exchange for protection. Using this card, Zakharchenko saved more than 3 mln rubles ($46,000) when visiting these restaurants, what investigators considered as a bribe. In 2016, Zakharchenko took advantage of his position and obstructed justice by notifying finance director at Nota-Bank Galina Marchukova about the upcoming searches in the organization.