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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Geneva Must Pay Mikhailov $482K

GENEVA -- The state of Geneva will have to pay a Russian businessman acquitted of being a mafia boss 800,000 Swiss francs ($482,000) compensation for the two years he spent in jail, a court ruled Monday.

Sergei Mikhailov claimed the money for loss of income and legal expenses. A jury acquitted him in December 1998 of charges of belonging to a criminal organization and forging documents.

Mikhailov was accused of being the boss of the Moscow-based Solntsevo gang. His two-week trial took place under unprecedented security, with some of the 90 witnesses under police protection. Those considered most at risk were allowed to testify by video from an adjacent room to protect their identity.

A Geneva appeals court granted the full amount that Mikhailov was claiming. It accepted the argument of Mikhailov's lawyer, Salome Paravicini, that her client had lost several hundred thousand dollars in income while he was in prison.

The failed prosecution cost the state $78,000, prosecutor Jean-Louis Crochet has said.