MOSCOW, November 8 (RAPSI, Oleg Sivozhelezov) – Russia’s Supreme Court on Monday revoked a lower court’s ruling to expunge conviction of former Army Commander Colonel General Vladimir Chirkin for fraud on Tuesday, RAPSI reports from the courtroom.

The Moscow Garrison Military Court is to reconsider the case.

On August 14, 2015, the Moscow Garrison Military Court sentenced Chirkin to five years in prison for taking bribes. He was also stripped of the military rank, and state and departmental awards.

Later the charges were reclassified to fraud and his sentence was changed to a 90,000 ruble ($1,400) fine. Chirkin returned his military rank as well. In April, the Moscow Regional Military Court upheld a lower court’s ruling to expunge conviction of Chirkin. On June 15, the Moscow Regional Military Court upheld mitigation of sentence for Chirkin and his release.

Prosecutors demanded a 5-year prison term for Chirkin on corruption charges. The court dismissed the motion and raised a prohibition imposed on ex-Russian Army commander to hold public or military office for three years.

In October 2016, the Supreme Court overturned requalification of charges against Chirkin and mitigation of his sentence by imposing a fine instead of prison term.

According to prosecution, Chirkin took 450,000 rubles ($7,040) in bribe to help Major Vladimir Lopanov of the reserves, who had served with the Moscow Military District, receive a one-room apartment to which he was entitled under law.

After paying the bribe, Lopanov was unable to move into the apartment, which was already occupied by another ex-soldier. Lopanov tried unsuccessfully to get his money back and later complained to a prosecutor’s office.

Chirkin pleaded not guilty in this case and claimed that the intermediaries deceived Lopanov. They allegedly extorted money from him, using the general’s name as a cover.