MOSCOW, October 28 (RIA Novosti) – A Russian judge is facing eight years in jail for awarding compensation to people involved in the cleanup of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, investigators said Monday.
District Judge Yelizaveta Botasheva ordered the Russian Finance Ministry to pay 12 million rubles ($380,000) in moral damages to eight Chernobyl veterans in 2011, the Investigative Committee said.
The ministry complied, but the Supreme Court in Botasheva’s home region, Russia’s republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, overturned her ruling on appeal last year, the committee said in a statement.
The verdict was reversed because Russian legislation did not allow for compensation of moral damages at the time the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant exploded in 1986, and current laws on the issue are not retroactive, the statement said.
Botasheva is now a suspect in an ongoing probe into whether an intentional miscarriage of justice took place, investigators said.
More than 500,000 people were involved in the cleanup of the Chernobyl disaster, the worst nuclear plant accident in history.
No comprehensive and undisputed statistics on their health problems and mortality rates are available, but “liquidators,” as they are known in Russia, often complain in the media that they have been neglected by state officials.