MOSCOW, May 29 (RAPSI, Diana Gutsul) – The Moscow District Military Court has ruled that dismissal of Valery Morozov, former commander of the Swifts AF aerobatic display team, by then Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov was illegal, lawyer Alexander Vysotsky told RAPSI on Friday.

The court ordered the Defense Ministry to pay Morozov the money due to him on the expiry of his contract, Vysotsky added.

In August 2014, the Odintsovo Garrison Military Court found Morozov guilty of attempted bribery and ordered him to pay a 775,000 ruble (about $15,000) fine. In November, the Moscow District Military Court upheld that ruling. Morozov filed an appeal with the court’s presidium, which refused to consider it.

The first time the Odintsovo Garrison Military Court slapped the fine on Morozov was in July 2013. The Moscow District Military Court overturned the ruling in February 2014 and ruled that it be returned for rehearing. The court upheld the defense team’s appeal, which claimed Morozov was not guilty. The Odintsovo court started a new hearing of his case in March 2014.

According to investigators, Morozov accepted money from his employees in exchange for a “flexible” schedule.

Morozov was arrested in August 2012 while accepting a bribe of 31,000 rubles (about $600), but claimed that he had been framed.

The Swifts have been performing since May 1991, when they first flew precise formation aerobatics in MiG-29 jets.