Former Senator From Russia’s Kalmykia Convi

July 17 2008

The Moscow City Court sentenced former senator from Russia’s Kalmykia
Levon Chakhmakhchyan to nine years in prison.

The court found him guilty of a fraud that resulted in stealing 1.5
million dollars from a large air company.

Two other defendants in the case – inspector of the Russian Audit
Chamber Armen Oganesyan (Chakhmakhchyan’s son-in-law) and chief
accountant of the Russian-Armenian Business Cooperation Association
Igor Arushanov were sentenced to eight and seven years in prison,

All three defendants were sentenced without fines.

The lawyers said they would appeal the verdict. According to
Chakhmakhchyan’s lawyer Valentina Sizova, "There is no guilty evidence
against the defendants in the case."

The trial was held behind closed doors, as some case files are
classified. The court hearings were held at the Lefortovo detention
center, where the former senator is being kept. The Moscow City Court
announced the substantive part of the verdict.

The former senator from the Russian Republic of Kalmykia was accused
of fraud that resulted in stealing 1.5 million dollars in a large air
company. The public prosecutor demanded from the court to find him
guilty and sentence to 9.5 years in prison. The public prosecutor
demanded sentence Oganesyan and Arushanov to eight and seven years
in prison, respectively.

The defendants did not plead guilty.

The investigators found out that the defendants offered to solve the
alleged tax problems in the air company for "a reward" of 1.5 million
dollars. A greater part of the sum should have been transferred to
the accounts of fly-by-night companies under counterfeit contracts,
and 300,000 roubles were planned to pass in cash. When receiving
this sum marked by the police in advance federal security officers
detained Chakhmakhchyan, Arushanov, Oganesyan and other members of
the organized criminal group.