MOSCOW, October 11 (RAPSI) – Prosecutors have demanded to toughen punishment for ex-Deputy Culture Minister Grigory Pirumov, who has earlier been found guilty of embezzling public funds allocated for restoration of cultural heritage objects, press-service of the Prosecutor General’s Office stated on Wednesday.

On Monday, the Dorogomilovsky District Court of Moscow sentenced Pirumov to 1.5 years in a penal colony. The court has taken into consideration the time Pirumov spent in detention and freed him in the courtroom.

Prosecutors believe that the punishment was too soft, reminding that a prosecutor in the case asked court to sentence the defendant to 5 years in prison.

The defendant pleaded guilty in full and his case was reviewed under special procedure. Prosecutor in the case noted that Pirumov met all conditions of his deal with investigators.

Other defendants in the case are head of the Center of restoration Oleg Ivanov, and director of the Ministry’s department of property management and investment policy Boris Mazo, project manager of companies Stroykomplekt and Baltstroy Vladimir Svanbek, BaltStroy manager Alexander Kochenov, businessman Andrey Kokushkin and ex-director of the State Center of Contemporary Art Mikhail Mindlin.

In late August, BaltStroy head Dmitry Sergeyev received a 4.5-year suspended sentence. According to the prosecutor, the fraud involving Sergeyev resulted in the embezzlement of 71 million rubles ($1.2 million) and the defendant himself unlawfully obtained 11 million rubles ($188,000).

In June, it was revealed that former Deputy Minister of Culture Grigory Pirumov and other defendants in the case paid about 163 million rubles in damages (about $2.7 million).

Investigators believe that between 2012 and 2016 the defendants embezzled over 160 million rubles allocated on restoration of the Novodevichy Convent in Moscow, Ivanovsky Convent in Moscow and other objects across Russia.

In December 2016, Dmitry Medvedev, the Chairman of the Russian Government, relieved Pirumov of his post.