MOSCOW, April 30 (RAPSI) – Alexander Kobets, one more witness for the defense of actor Mikhail Efremov, on Friday was sentenced to 1.5 years of community service, RAPSI reports from the Presnensky District Court of Moscow.

A 10% fine is to be deducted from Kobets’ earnings over that time, the ruling reads.

Prosecution earlier requested 22 months of correctional labor with a 20% deduction from earnings for Kobets.

Prosecutors alleged that the defendant knowingly gave false testimony to a court hearing the criminal case of the actor charged with drunk driving, which resulted in a fatal crash. 

The defendant insisted on the authenticity of his testimony, which he gave on August 20 last year in the case of a fatal accident involving the actor. Then Kobets claimed that he saw another person at the wheel of the actor’s vehicle, and Efremov was allegedly in the passenger seat. 

Kobets' defense insisted that he was indeed in the capital on the day of the accident, and the arguments presented by the prosecution do not prove inaccuracy of his testimony.

The prosecutor's office claims that the defendant and his friend Andrey Gayev, who has also been charged with giving false evidence in the case, were not present at the site at the time of the accident and could not be witnesses of the crash.

Altogether, three cases were initiated against persons claiming they were witnesses of the crush on suspicion of giving deliberately false testimony. Thus, Kobets and Gayev said they saw not Efremov, but someone else driving the car at the time of the accident. The third defendant, Tevan Badasyan, alleged that he detected another person being in the car alongside the actor. 

In October 2020, the Moscow City Court reduced jail sentence of Efremov by 6 months, from 8 to 7.5 years. The actor was found guilty of driving under influence (DUI) resulting in vehicular homicide.

As established by the court, on the evening of June 8, Efremov driving his car crossed into the oncoming lane in central Moscow and collided with a delivery service vehicle. He was arrested on the scene. Alcohol and drugs were reportedly found in his blood. Victim Sergey Zakharov was taken to hospital where he died early in the morning of June 9.

Efremov pleaded guilty in the case.