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Moscow Court Starts Appeal Hearing For Actor And Kremlin Critic Yefremov Over Deadly Accident

Russian actor Mikhail Yefremov attends a court hearing in Moscow on October 20.

A court in Moscow has started hearings into the appeal filed by actor Mikhail Yefremov, an outspoken Kremlin critic, who was sentenced to eight years in prison for killing a person while driving under the influence of alcohol.

At the hearing in the Moscow City Court on October 20, Yefremov said he was ready to pay compensation to the relatives of Sergei Zakharov, the man whom he killed in June.

Lawyers for Zakharov's relatives said their clients are ready to accept the compensation.

Yefremov's lawyers also presented the conclusions of independent forensic experts, who suggested that Zakharov did not have his safety belt fastened when Yefremov's car collided with his vehicle.

The hearing was adjourned until October 22.

Yefremov’s lawyers said that the issue of financial compensation to Zakharov's relatives will be fully decided by that date.

Moscow’s Presnensky district court sentenced Yefremov on September 8 to eight years in prison after finding him guilty of "causing a deadly traffic accident while driving under the influence."

Police say Yefremov was inebriated when he drove his car at high speed into an oncoming lane in central Moscow on the evening of June 8, hitting Zakharov's car.

Yefremov did not suffer any injuries in the accident, but 57-year-old Zakharov was rushed to hospital with multiple injuries and died hours later.

After Zakharov was pronounced dead, Yefremov was charged and placed under house arrest.

Authorities later said that medical tests confirmed that Yefremov had traces of drugs, including cocaine, in his blood at the moment of the accident.

Performances by the 56-year-old Yefremov satirizing President Vladimir Putin and his policies have been very popular in recent years.

With reporting by TASS and Interfax
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