MOSCOW, June 1 (RAPSI)  - The Moscow City Court on Tuesday held to release  former court-appointed receiver of Transaero air carrier Mikhail Kotov of serving a sentence for 1-billion-ruble embezzlement (about $15 million) and abuse of office,  RAPSI learnt in the court’s press service.

The appeals instance changed a lower court’s ruling, reclassified charges of abuse of office to illegal actions during bankruptcy, ordered Kotov to restriction of liberty for the term of 1.5 years but released him of serving his sentence due to expiration of limitation period. He was also ordered to be freed from detention.

In August 2020, Moscow’s Savelovsky District Court sentenced Kotov to 5.5 years in penal colony. He was also banned from holding positions related to managing, organizational and administrative functions for 3 years

According to investigation, Kotov’s action resulted in embezzlement of the airline’s property worth over 1 billion rubles ($15.3 million). Moreover, he forged some documents to suppress crimes allegedly committed in conspiracy with the former Transaero CEO Alexander Burdin, the statement reads.

Transaero found itself unable to pay its debts valued at 250 billion rubles (about $4 billion) in 2015. The government-approved plan of transferring 75% of company’s shares to Aeroflot failed. Its problems resulted in a large number of flight cancels and delays.

In October 2015, Sberbank and Alfa Bank filed bankruptcy petitions against the troubled airline. The Commercial Court of St. Petersburg and Leningrad Region initiated bankruptcy procedure against Transaero on December 16. The Commercial Court of St. Petersburg and Leningrad Region declared Transaero air carrier bankrupt in September 2017.