Mitigation of sentence for ex-general Chirkin found legal

Mitigation of sentence for ex-general Chirkin found legal
Vladimir Chirkin

On April 1, 2016, the appellate court expunged the record of Chirkin’s conviction of fraud. Today, this ruling has been legitimized.

On June 15, the Moscow District Military Court upheld the commutation of sentence to the former Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Land Forces, Colonel-General Vladimir Chirkin, and legitimized his release from custody, RIA Novosti reported.

Despite the protests of the prosecutor, the Presidium of the Court quashed the 5-year-sentence on corruption charges. Additionally, Chirkin will now be able to hold office in the civil and military service.

The military prosecutor Vladislav Prikhodchenko stated that the decision to change the charges to a softer article is totally unreasonable and rebuked the court for a one-sided assessment of the evidence. Moreover, Prikhodchenko stressed that the representative of the state prosecution in the court of appeal could not make a speech after the debate.

Chirkin never pleaded guilty and waited for an acquittal, despite the fact that his lawyers had not filed the relevant complaint, and only requested to change the bribe taking indictment to the fraud indictment.

According to the general's attorney, Chirkin’s official duties could not allow him to commit this crime. The prosecution insists that Chirkin received a bribe for promising to help the major of the reserve in obtaining an apartment, though the latter had a legal right for it after more than 20 years of military service.

Major Lopanov received an apartment after he transferred the money, but it turned out that the flat had already been occupied by another military serviceman. The petitioner tried to recover his money, but faced refusal and went to the prosecutor’s office. The investigation established that the major did not transfer his money personally, but through two intermediaries. Because of this, Chirkin claims that the perpetrators simply used his name a smoke screen to extort money.

First, the court found Chirkin guilty and sentenced him to five years in prison under art. 290 para. 4 of the Russian Criminal Code. However, the appellate court later changed the charge to art. 159 para. 3 of the Russian Criminal Code, and reduced the penalty to a fine of 90 thousand rubles. In the end, the court fully expunged his criminal record and gave Chirkin back his military rank. Moreover, there were rumors in the press about his appointment as chairman of one of the councils at the Defense Ministry.

Chirkin is a battlefield general, who served in the Armed Forces of the USSR and the Russian Federation for more than 40 years in total. General was awarded four medals, including "For Merit to the Fatherland" of the IV degree.

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