FORMER MEMBER OF RUSSIAN UPPER HOUSE GETS LENGTHY PRISON SENTENCE FOR FRAUD
Interfax News Agency
July 17 2008
Moscow, 17 July: Moscow city court has sentenced a former member
of the Federation Council [upper house of the Russian parliament]
for Kalmykia, Levon Chakhmakhchyan, to nine years imprisonment.
An Interfax correspondent reports that two other defendants, Armen
Oganesyan and Igor Arushanov, were sentenced to eight and seven years
The court found all three guilty of fraud (under Article 159 of the
Russian Federation Criminal Code) and decided that they would serve
their sentences in a general regime colony.
Passing sentence, the court did not fine them and said that their
prison terms would be counted from the time they were detained.
Before the sentence was announced, Chakhmakhchyan said: "We have
been tried not as Russian Federation citizens, but as outright
terrorists". He believes that all the evidence against him was
forged. "This is a travesty of a trial against persons of Armenian
nationality. All the materials of the criminal case were forged,"
he said. [Passage omitted]
Earlier, the Russian Prosecutor-General’s Office said that former
senator Chakhmakhchyan, Russian Audit Chamber inspector Oganesyan
(Chakhmakhchyan’s in-law), and the chief accountant of the public group
Association for Russian-Armenian Business Cooperation (whose chairman
was Chakhmakhchyan), Arushanov, were accused of misappropriating
through fraud – acting as part of an organized group – 1.5m dollars
belonging to a major airline.