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  Monday, June 17, 2019
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A court in Chelyabinsk ordered the release of a father
A court in Chelyabinsk ordered the release of a father of nine on Friday who had been sentenced to three months in jail for poaching fish.

In May 2006, Alexander Shmunk was caught poaching carp by local inspectors in a lake near the village of Kadymtsevo, in Russia's Urals region of Chelyabinsk. He was charged with poaching a single fish weighing 2.8 kg (6 lbs) which was worth less than $2.

Shmunk was sentenced to one year community service with a utility company for the offense.

However, Shmunk, 40, the father of eight children aged between 5 and 15 and a married daughter, failed to carry out his community work. He said his 37-year-old wife was seriously ill with cancer and he had to look after his family. His wife later died.

Shmunk did not start his community service until 2008, but was dismissed three months later for drinking and absenteeism. In November, a court sentenced Shmunk, who had also failed to pay a fine instead of the community service order, to three months in an open prison.

The court ruling sparked a public outcry and local media called it "unfair." Prosecutors and the court agreed to a review of his sentence and a court hearing ruled he be released taking into account the time he had already served.


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