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Ex-mayor of Norilsk handed 6 months of community service

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Norilsk City Court in Russia, on Monday sentenced Rinat Akhmetchin to six months of community service and issued withholding order on 15 per cent of his salary.

Official representative of the Krasnoyarsk Regional Court Oksana Veselova told Sputnik that Akhmetchin, a former mayor of the Russian Arctic city of Norilsk, was recently charged with negligence over a major fuel spill at Norilsk’s thermal power plant.

“The court has read out its verdict: community service with 15 per cent of the salary withheld. The Norilsk City Court considered the case under special procedures.’’

In June, Russia’s Investigative Committee initiated a criminal case on negligence against Akhmetchin, who resigned in July.

According to investigators, the former mayor failed to implement adequate measures to address the May 29 major fuel spill.

On May 29, more than 21,000 tonnes of petroleum products were spilled in Norilsk.

The accident took place in the territory of Norilsk-Taimyr Energy Company, which is affiliated with Nornickel company, contaminating two rivers and surrounding soil.

The Russian watchdog Rospotrebnadzor estimated the damage at 148 billion rubles ($1.9 billion).

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