Sentence Of Russian Nationalist Potkin Reduced By 4 Years

Sentence Of Russian Nationalist Potkin Reduced By 4 Years

The Moscow City Court has reduced a prison term given to Russian nationalist Alexander Potkin for embezzlement and organization of an extremist movement from 7.5 to 3.5 years, the court’s press office told RAPSI on Friday.

In August 2016, the Meshchansky District Court of Moscow sentenced Potkin to 7.5 years in prison and fined him 600,000 rubles ($9,700). Moreover, the court granted a 4.9 billion-ruble lawsuit ($79.3 million) filed by the injured party against Potkin. He has appealed the ruling.

According to the indictment, Mukhtar Ablyazov, former chairman of the Kazakh BTA Bank, who allegedly wanted to destabilize the constitutional order in Kazakhstan, asked Potkin to help him with organizing an extremist group. Potkin allegedly agreed and used funds embezzled from BTA Bank to spread the nationalist ideology in Kazakhstan. Potkin has pleaded not guilty.

Potkin (also known as Belov) was arrested on October 15, 2014 at the Hotel Intourist Kolomenskoe in Moscow on charges related to the embezzlement of $5 billion from BTA Bank. At the time of the arrest, Potkin allegedly had documents on him that effectively tied him to the embezzlement.

On December 20, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) awarded €2,500 in compensation to Potkin for withdrawal of his complaint over long stay in detention from the court.