MOSCOW, March 30 (RAPSI) – Ousted Yaroslavl ex-mayor Yevgeny Urlashov sentenced to 12.5 years in prison for corruption has asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to pardon him, Commissioner for Human Rights in the Yaroslavl Region Sergey Baburkin has told RAPSI.

According to the ombudsman, he has already received Urlashov’s official petition for pardon. The application must be first considered by relevant authorities and then forwarded to the Presidential Executive Office, Baburkin said.

In August 2016, Urlashov was found guilty of receiving 17 million rubles ($254,000) of the total 30 million rubles’ bribe amount ($449,000) from a Director General of Yardstroy construction company for assistance in transfer of control block of shares belonging to the City Highway Department to Yardstroy. He was sentenced to 12.5 years for two corruption episodes.

Ex-mayor's accomplice Maxim Pokalainen was convicted of attempted bribery amounted to 18 million rubles ($270,000) and sentenced to five years in prison in December 2014. Later, his sentence was reduced to 3 years and 9 months. Urlashov’s former assistant Aleksey Lopatin received a 7-year prison term in this case. Former deputy of the mayor Dmitry Donskov was acquitted.

A court accorded investigators that Urlashov along with Lopatin and Pokalainen demanded 18 million rubles ($270,000) from a commercial entity director for participation in a municipal project realization between December 2012 and July 2013.

The criminal case against Urlashov is one of the biggest bribery cases opened in Russia recently considering Yaroslavl’s population (600,000) and the fact that Urlashov, an opposition candidate, defeated the candidate from the ruling party at the 2012 mayoral elections.

The police arrested Urlashov on July 3, 2013.

Urlashov, a member of the ruling United Russia party in 2008-2011, was a candidate for the opposition during mayoral elections in 2012. He achieved a landslide victory over a United Russia candidate Yakov Yakushev. A member of billionaire-turned-politician Mikhail Prokhorov’s Civic Platform party, Urlashov planned to run for the Yaroslavl regional parliament in September 2013.

On July 18, 2013, Urlashov was removed from his mayoral post.