ST. PETERSBURG, July 13 (RAPSI, Mikhail Telekhov) – A prosecutor on Friday asked the Kuibyshevsky District Court of St. Petersburg to sentence ex-deputy director of the Hermitage Museum Mikhail Novikov charged with embezzlement during restoration of the museum’s facilities to 4 years in prison, RAPSI reports from the courtroom.

The same prison term was requested for managing director of BaltStroy company Alexander Kochenov.

Earlier, Novikov and Kochenov pleaded guilty to embezzling 30.6 million rubles and paid the damages in full.  Thereupon, the Hermitage Museum in early July withdrew a 30.6-million-ruble claim ($481,000) against the defendants.

According to investigators, the defendants have stolen the funds allocated for the reconstruction of the "Reserve House" of the museum's Winter Palace.