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The Altai regional court on Thursday acquitted Oleg Shcherbinsky
The Altai regional court on Thursday acquitted Oleg Shcherbinsky, the driver convicted for a car crash in which regional governor Mikhail Yevdokimov, his bodyguard and driver were killed. Shcherbinsky was released from custody in the courtroom. The Altai district court acquitted Shcherbinsky after hearings into a complaint lodged by Oleg Shcherbinsky’s lawyers. On February 3, the Zonalny District Court of the Altai region convicted Oleg Shcherbinsky, sentenced him to four years in a penitentiary settlement and stripped Shcherbinsky of a driver's license for three years. Lawyers from Barnaul and Moscow, Sergei Shmakov and Andrei Karpov, and Moscow lawyer Anatoly Kucherena, who chairs a Commission of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation for public control over the activities of law enforcement bodies and power structures, represented Shcherbinsky's interests in court. "We demanded his full acquittal," Andrei Karpov said. The fatal traffic accident occurred on the Biysk- Barnaul highway on August 7. 2005. The governor's driver, who had been driving a very high speed, touched a Toyota moving in the same direction with Oleg Shcherbinsky at the wheel. As a result of an abrupt push the governor’s Mercedes was sent flying off the motorway and ran into a tree. The previous court ruled that Shcherbinsky was guilty because he did not give way to the governor’s car that was driving with a flasher and therefore, had an advantage over other cars. Oleg Shcherbinsky pleaded not guilty, declaring the late governor’s Mercedes was running at a very high speed considerably exceeding the permissible speed limit, and therefore, Shcherbinsky did not have time for any maneuver to avoid a collision. Onlookers testified that the governor’s car was running at a speed of 200 kilometers per hour, violating the permissible speed limit on such motorways.
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