MOSCOW, June 26 (RAPSI) – The appeals instance of the Nizhny Novgorod district court has upheld a lower court’s ruling to recover over 2.2 billion rubles (about $31.5 million at the current exchange rate) from ex-governor of Mari El Republic Leonid Markelov accused of bribery in favor of the state, lawyer Igor Trunov has told RAPSI.

Defense will appeal the ruling in cassation and file a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights, according to Trunov.

A court in Russia’s Nizhny Novgorod has recovered over 2.2 billion rubles (about $34.5 million) from ex-governor of Mari El Republic Leonid Markelov in favor of the state in November 2019.  The court levied 120 property items, 16 cars, luxury wristwatch worth 1 million rubles, over 8.5 million rubles, $224,000 and 660,000 euros upon a motion filed by prosecutors. Moreover, land plots, apartments, luxury goods, money and shares were ordered to be forfeited to the state.

Currently, Markelov is on trial on bribery allegations. Initially, the case against him was to be considered in the Republic of Mari El, but the Supreme Court of Russia changed its territorial jurisdiction and forwarded the case to Nizhny Novgorod.

Investigators believe that Markelov acting as the republic’s governor received through Kozhanova 235 million rubles from the founder of Akashevskaya factory as a bribe for common protection and assistance in the property payment of funds provided by the state support for development of the agricultural complex.

According to defense lawyer Sergey Sevruk, Markelov is also a defendant in another criminal case over illegal possession of ammunition.

Media also reported that there is the third case against the former official over abuse of power.

Markelov pleads not guilty to all accusations.