KAZAN, July 7 (RAPSI) - On Monday, the Moskovsky District Court of Kazan found Irek Timergazeyev, head of the Kazan Transit Police Department of the Volga Directorate of the State Marine and River Navigation Agency, and Vladislav Semyonov, former chief state inspector of the same department, guilty in the Bulgaria ship sinking, and sentenced them to five and six years, respectively, in a standard-security prison, a RIA Novosti correspondent reports.

Timergazeyev and Semyonov were charged with abuse of power. The prosecution demanded that they both serve eight years.

The Bulgaria, a double-decked riverboat, was built in Czechoslovakia in 1955. The cruise ship with 201 passengers and crew aboard was sailing from the town of Bolgar to Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan. The ship was caught in a storm and sank on July 10 in the Kuybyshev Reservoir of the Volga River three kilometers from the riverbank. A total of 122 people died. Only 79 survived.

Other defendants in the case included Svetlana Inyakina, CEO of ArgoRechTur, a sublessee of the Bulgaria, who was sentenced to 11 years; Yakov Ivashov, senior expert of the Kama branch of the Russian River Navigation Registry, sentenced to five years but pardoned in courtroom; and Ramil Khametov, second-in-command to the Bulgaria’s captain, sentenced to six and a half years.

Depending on their role, the defendants were charged with providing services that did not comply with consumer safety requirements, violating safety rules of river navigation, violating occupational safety rules and abuse of authority. None of the defendants pled guilty in their final speeches.

Official representative of the Investigative Committee Vladimir Markin announced that the investigation not only succeeded in establishing the cause of the tragedy but in taking action to prevent similar incidents in the future. “We cannot allow irresponsible traders and corrupt officials to line their pockets at the expense of the health and lives of passengers without being punished,” he said.