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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Pyatigorsk Verdict Appealed

Stavropol region prosecutors on Tuesday appealed a lower court verdict throwing out the case against former Pyatigorsk Mayor Igor Tarasov, responsible for killing five people in an August traffic accident, Interfax reported.

The Kochubeyevsky District Court tossed out Tarasov's case Monday, after he settled with relatives of the accident victims, paying each of the three plaintiffs nearly $38,000.

"When considering the criminal case, the court should have taken into account not only the settlement of the defendant with the plaintiffs, but also the level of danger posed ... to the public and the feasibility of freeing Tarasov from punishment," the appeal stated.

Tarasov was driving at least 40 kilometers above the 70-kilometer-per-hour limit at 2 p.m. on Aug. 23 on a Stavropol region highway when his Toyota Land Cruiser collided with an oncoming Lada Samara hatchback. Tarasov had apparently been trying to pass a slower-moving car in his lane when the accident occurred; the passengers who had been traveling in his car were reported to have been left relatively unscathed by the accident.

Tarasov resigned in October as mayor of Pyatigorsk, a resort town in the Northern Caucasus known for its mineral springs and spas. He had only been selected by the Pyatigorsk Duma a month earlier to be mayor, following Yury Vasilyev, who was nearly killed when his car was blown up in August 2003, and Vladimir Shestopalov, who was also targeted by bombers and later indicted for corruption.