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Russian Actor And Kremlin Critic Yefremov's Trial Postponed Again Due To His Hospitalization

Paramedics carry away actor Mikhail Yefremov on a stretcher from a Moscow court on August 11.
Paramedics carry away actor Mikhail Yefremov on a stretcher from a Moscow court on August 11.

The trial of Russian actor Mikhail Yefremov, an outspoken Kremlin critic who is charged with killing a person while driving under the influence of alcohol, has been postponed until August 18 due to his hospitalization.

The judge had to stop the high-profile trial at the Presnensky district court on August 11 after an ambulance was called to the courtroom to treat Yefremov who felt unwell. He was taken to the hospital later and Abramova said the trial will resume the next day.

But Judge Yelena Abramova on August 12 postponed the trial because Yefremov was unable to come to the courtroom.

If convicted, Yefremov, who in recent years has been criticizing the Kremlin in his one-man performances, may face up to 12 years in prison.

Russian media reports quoted unnamed medical personnel on August 11 as saying that Yefremov has stroke symptoms.

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

Yefremov did not suffer any injuries in the accident, but the driver of the other vehicle, identified as 57-year-old Sergei Zakharov, was rushed to hospital with multiple injuries and died hours later.

After Zakharov was pronounced dead, Yefremov was charged with "causing a deadly traffic accident while driving under the influence" and later placed under house arrest.

Yefremov’s trial started on August 5. He pleaded not guilty, saying "I do not remember anything."

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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