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    MOSCOW, January 6, 2003. (RIA Novosti) -- The Krasnoyarsk City Court (Krasnoyarsk Region, Eastern Siberia), put the blame for the death of Krasnoyarsk Governor Alexander Lebed on the pilots of the crashed Mi-8 helicopter. (Before his election to the post of regional governor, Lebed ran for Russian presidency in 1996, getting the third largest number of votes after Yeltsin and Zyuganov. He was widely known abroad.)

    The court ruled that pilots Tahir Akhmerov and Alexei Kurilovich violated air traffic and helicopter exploitation rules. Commander of an air wing Akhmerov, who piloted the helicopter when it crashed, was sentenced to four years in a prison camp and prohibited to fly aircraft for three years afterwards. Alexei Kurilovich was sentenced to three years (suspended) with a two-year probation. The court passed a mild sentence on him because he had been badly injured in the crash and has a minor child.

    The crash took place on April 28th, 2002 in the foothills in the southern part of the region. Experts concluded that the Mi-8 crashed when the pilots sent the helicopter up in an attempt to avoid high-tension lines.

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