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Supreme Court reduces sentence in official secrets case

RIA Novosti

31/01/2007 15:15

MOSCOW, January 31 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Supreme Court has reduced the prison sentence for a former Finance Ministry official convicted under the official secrets statute from eight to five years, the court press service said Wednesday.

A Moscow court sentenced Denis Mikhailov, 37, last July for passing classified information to two businessmen.

His lawyer, Vladimir Zherebenkov, said his client was innocent and intends to appeal the sentence to the European Court of Human Rights

Mikhailov was arrested in late 2004 and subsequently found guilty of passing a confidential document to Teimuraz Karchava, the president of a VIP club, and Alexei Kirzhnev, an adviser to the head of an investment bank, in return for a Mercedes worth 87,000 euros ($110,000).

The businessmen were also convicted for their role in the affair and were sent to prison for 21 months and four and a half years, respectively.

Mikhailov, who was deputy director of a foreign debt department, was also banned from holding a state position for three years following his release.

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