"Today our position is as follows: we accept the court's decision and will not appeal it," the lawyer said Friday, after the Altai regional court overturned a lower court's conviction of Oleg Shcherbinsky on charges of a right-of-way violation leading to the death of Mikhail Yevdokimov and two other fatalities.
The lawyer said Yevdokimov's widow and her defense team would accept any court ruling as long as it was just. But he said his own theory was that Shcherbinsky and Yevdokimov's chauffeur were both partly to blame for the crash, as both had violated traffic regulations.
"There were infringements in Shcherbinsky's actions, but whether they were sufficient for him to be penalized according to criminal law was the question that needed to be answered. And the regional court judged that he should not be held responsible," the lawyer said.
The regional court closed the case against Shcherbinsky on Thursday, citing lack of evidence, and ruled that the man, sentenced to four years in prison, be released from custody.
Yevdokimov, a former stand-up comedian, died last August when his official Mercedes smashed into a tree after colliding with Shcherbinsky's Toyota. His chauffeur and bodyguard were also killed in the accident, but his wife survived. Investigators said Yevdokimov's car had right of way as it was traveling with its flashing lights on.
Shcherbinsky's conviction triggered a nationwide wave of protests by motorists, who said he was being scapegoated.