13 Jan 2011
The rare species argali hunting case will begin on January 26. This decision was taken at a hearing held on 13 January presided over by Nikolai Lubenitsky, chairman of the Kosh-Agach Rayon court, which is hearing this case.
The subject of these preliminary hearings (generally used for hearing processual questions, evidentiary issues, etc.) is not known. All of the accused traveled to Kosh-Agach to participate in these hearings – businessman and former vice-governor of Altai Republic Anatoly Bannykh, general director of Ineko Boris Belinsky, and vice director of the Moscow’s Institute of Economics and Law Nikolai Karpanov.
They stand accused under Part 2, Article 258 of the Russian Federal Criminal Code (collusion to illegally hunt by a group for animals whose killing is completely forbidden, with the infliction of gross harm and the use of airborne transport), the penalty for which ranges from a fine up to two years’ imprisonment. The accused in the case are pleading not guilty to the charges.
Translation by Jennifer Castner
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Russian officials cleared of poaching charges
23 May 2011
A court in southern Siberia’s Altai Republic on Monday acquitted three high-ranking officials whose hunting of endangered animals led to a deadly helicopter crash two years ago.
Judge Nikolai Lubenitsky said the prosecution had failed to prove the defendants’ guilt. He also said all the three men could claim compensation for damages sustained as a result of the prosecution.
A Mi-17 helicopter carrying government officials crashed near Altai’s Chernaya mountain in January 2009, killing seven people, including the Russian president’s envoy to the State Duma, Alexander Kosopkin, and a federal environmental official.
It was subsequently alleged that the officials had been hunting endangered mountain sheep.
Four people survived the crash, including the republic’s deputy prime minister, Anatoly Bannykh, who resigned after the crash; deputy head of the Institute of Economics and Law Nikolai Kapranov, and State Duma official and businessman Boris Belinsky.
The three officials were charged with illegal hunting and faced up to two years in prison if found guilty.
KOSH-AGACH (Altai Republic), May 23 (RIA Novosti)