Ex-head of Russian Border Agency appeals sentence in embezzlement case
MOSCOW, January 15 (RAPSI) – Former head of the Federal Border Development Agency Dmitry Bezdelov, found guilty of large-scale embezzlement, had appealed his prison sentence, lawyer Boris Kozhemyakin told RAPSI on Monday.
The lawyer characterized the sentence as “scandalous” and said that Bezdelov’s defense insists on acquittal. According to the press-service of the Meschansky District Court in Moscow, nearly all defendants of the case had filed appeals against their sentences.
On December 29, Bezdelov was sentenced to nine years in prison and fined him 1 million rubles ($17,400) for embezzling about 500 million rubles ($8.7 million). His accomplices were also found guilty, and received prison terms ranging from 2 to 8 years in prison.
Investigators claim that in 2009, Bezdelov, then head of the Federal Border Development Agency, conspired with a number of other people to embezzle public funds allocated for the construction of checkpoints on the state border. From September 2009 to May 2013, they allegedly stole and laundered over 490 million rubles.
Bezdelov resigned from his post in October 2013 after a probe had revealed inappropriate use of budget funds by the agency. He was arrested in Rome in October 2014 after he had been put on the international wanted list. Italy's court of appeals upheld the decision to extradite Bezdelov to Russia in October 2015. The Supreme Court left the judgment intact.