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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Investigator Cleared in Furniture Case

The Moscow city court has cleared police investigator Pavel Zaitsev of all charges in a case involving the Grand and Tri Kita furniture stores.

The Prosecutor General's Office had charged Zaitsev with abuse of authority in his investigation of possible fraud by the stores' importers. He was accused of conducting unauthorized apartment searches and detaining two suspects without cause.

The court ruled Wednesday that Zaitsev had acted legally. The verdict, announced Thursday, said prosecutors had not presented sufficient evidence of Zaitsev's guilt to the court, RIA-Novosti reported.

Prosecutor Sergei Gribinyuchenko, who had asked for a suspended sentence of three years in prison for Zaitsev, said Thursday that the Prosecutor General's Office would appeal the verdict to a higher court, RosBusinessConsulting reported.

Zaitsev's lawyer Alexander Gofshtein said the case against his client had been poorly prepared and should never have gone to court.

"It went to trial only because there is nobody above the Prosecutor General's Office who can check the quality of investigators' work," he said by telephone.

The investigation into Zaitsev was opened November 2000. He was heading a probe into the furniture importers, which were accused by customs officials of falsifying their records.