MOSCOW, April 20 (RAPSI) – A court in Russia’s Syktyvkar has sentenced ex-head of Russia’s Komi Republic Vyacheslav Gaizer to 1.5 years in penal colony for abuse of office and released him from punishment due to the running of the statute of limitations, according to the Investigative Committee’s statement.

Investigators claimed that Gaizer, when holding his post in the Republic of Komi in 2013 through 2014 unlawfully instructed the head of Syktyvkar urban municipality Ivan Pozdeyev to allot plots of land for construction of apartment blocks without organizing a tender as required by law in order to benefit a company owned by an acquaintance of the defendant. The respective damages to the municipal budget are estimated to make about 8.7 million rubles ($121,000 at the current exchange rate).

In June 2019, the Zamoskvoretsky District Court of Moscow found Gaizer guilty of fraud, money laundering and receiving bribes and sentenced him to 11 years in high security prison. In addition to the prison term, Gaizer was fined 160 million rubles (nearly $2.5 million) and banned from holding public posts for 5 years. In October, the Moscow City Court upheld the ruling.

However, the court acquitted Gaizer and some other defendants in the case of creation of a criminal community.

In the framework of the same case, Gaizer’s deputy in the Komi Republic was sentenced to 9 years in a penal colony and fined 160 million rubles; ex-senator Vladimir Toropov was sentenced to 6.5 years in a penal colony and fined 500,000 rubles; other defendants were imprisoned for terms from 5 to 8.5 years.