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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Hands Official Stiff Bribery Sentence

Itar-TassViktor Timashov
In an unusually harsh ruling, a senior Chelyabinsk official Thursday was sentenced to 10 years in prison for accepting bribes totaling around $260,000.

The Chelyabinsk Regional Court convicted Deputy Governor Court of organizing a system of extortions and bribes from the heads of companies looking to use the region's natural resources, Interfax reported.

In addition to the 10-year sentence, which he will serve in a maximum security prison, Timashov was fined around $30,000 and banned from public service for three years.

The court cleared Timashov on counts of abuse of office and money laundering.

Timashov was not expecting such a harsh sentence and plans to appeal the verdict, his lawyers told Interfax.

Prosecutors had pushed for the maximum sentence -- 12 years -- and a $40,000 fine.

Following the investigation, authorities froze about $1 million of Timashov's assets and $180,000 in a relative's account, Interfax reported.

Two other officials were tried in the same case. Senior natural resources official Eduard Vagin was acquitted on all counts.

Alexander Losev, the deputy chief of a company called Prodmontazh, pled guilty and was handed a five-year suspended sentence.