Sentence for ousted opposition-minded Russian mayor to be read on August 1
MOSCOW, June 2 (RAPSI) – The Kirovsky District Court of Yaroslavl will read out the sentence to ousted Yaroslavl Mayor Yevgeny Urlashov, who stands charged with soliciting a bribe, and his alleged accomplices, on August 1, RIA Novosti reported on Thursday.
Today the court heard final speeches of Urlashov and his former deputy Dmitry Donskov; they pleaded not guilty again. Urlashov’s former assistant Aleksei Lopatin refused to give a final speech, according to a court representative.
The criminal case against Urlashov is one of the biggest bribe cases opened in Russia recently, considering Yaroslavl’s population (600,000) and the fact that Urlashov, an opposition candidate, defeated the candidate from the ruling party at the 2012 mayoral elections.
The police arrested Urlashov on July 3, 2013.
Investigators believe that Urlashov along with his accomplices extorted bribes estimated at 45 million rubles (about $675,500) from businessmen.
Between December 2012 and July 2013, Urlashov, Donskov, Lopatin and another Urlashov’s accomplice Maxim Pokalainen demanded 18 million rubles ($270,200) from a commercial entity director for participation in a municipal project realization, according to investigation.
In December 2014, a court found Pokalainen guilty of attempted bribery amounted to 18 million rubles and sentenced him to five years in prison.
Urlashov, a member of the ruling United Russia party in 2008-2011, was a candidate for the opposition during mayoral elections in 2012. He achieved a landslide victory over a United Russia candidate Yakov Yakushev. A member of billionaire-turned-politician Mikhail Prokhorov’s Civic Platform party, Urlashov planned to run for the Yaroslavl regional parliament in September 2013.
On July 18, 2013, Urlashov was removed from his mayoral post.