8 Sep 2018 11:59

Court reduces sentence handed down to ex-Rosgranitsa head Bezdelov, convicted for fraud, to 3 yrs

MOSCOW. Sept 8 (Interfax) - The Moscow City Court has recounted the actual prison term given to the former head of the Russian Federal Agency for Development of the State Border (Rosgranitsa), Dmitry Bezdelov, who was convicted to nine years for fraud; therefore he is to serve three years in a penal colony.

"By an appellate resolution, the Moscow City Court included the term of Bezdelov's stay in custody before the sentence handed down to him entered into effect in the term of his serving punishment at a rate of 'a day under arrest counting as a day and a half of serving a sentence in a general-security penal colony,'" the Moscow City Court's press service told Interfax.

Bezdelov's lawyer Boris Kozhemyakin, in turn, explained that his client had spent four years under arrest and they are counted as six in accordance with the Moscow City Court's ruling.

Therefore, the former official has to spend three years in a penal colony.

The press service for the Moscow City Court added that two more people convicted in Bezdelov's case, Yevgeny Chaika and Zurabi Katamadze, were released in the courtroom after a similar recount of actual prison terms given to them.

Sentences handed down to other defendants in the case were also brought in line with amendments to the Criminal Code, the court said.

As reported, the law, which had entered into effect on July 4, 2018, introduced amendments to the Article 72 of the Russian Criminal Code. According to the law, the period of a person's stay in a pre-trial detention facility is included in their prison term at a rate of one day in a pre-trial detention facility as one day and a half of serving a sentence in a correctional colony or a general-security penal colony and one day in a pre-trial detention facility as two days in a penal settlement.

On December 29, 2017, Moscow's Meshchansky District Court found Bezdelov guilty of massive fraud and sentenced him to nine years in a general-security penal colony and a fine of 1 million rubles.

The first instance court gave the ex-Rosgranitsa chief's seven accomplices sentences of from two to eight years of imprisonment in a general-security penal colony.

Investigators established that Bezdelov, together with his deputy Boris Haytovich, as well as a number of Rosgranitsa's senior officials and general directors of for-profit organizations controlled by them, embezzled budget funds totaling over 490 million rubles from September 2009 to May 2013.

Bezdelov was placed on federal wanted lists in December 2014 and on international ones in May 2014. In October 2014, he was detained in Italy. In April 2016, the former official was extradited to Russia.