MOSCOW, July 13 (RAPSI) – The Kuibyshevsky District Court of St. Petersburg has sentenced ex-deputy director of the Hermitage Museum Mikhail Novikov to a 2.5 year-long suspended prison term for embezzling 30.6 million rubles ($481,000) during restoration of the museum’s facilities, RAPSI correspondent reports from the courtroom.

In addition, Novikov was fined 500,000 rubles ($8,000).

Other defendant in the case, managing director of BaltStroy company Alexander Kochenov also received a suspended prison sentence of the same duration and was fined 300,000 rubles ($4,800).

Earlier today, a prosecutor asked to sentence both defendants to 4 years in prison.

Novikov and Kochenov pleaded guilty and compensated damage in full.

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