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Prosecutor Seeks 11 Years For Russian Actor And Kremlin Critic For Deadly Accident


Mikhail Yefremov performs on stage. He had previously denied being guilty in the crash.
Mikhail Yefremov performs on stage. He had previously denied being guilty in the crash.

The prosecutor in the high-profile 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 asked the court to sentence him to 11 years in prison.

Prosecutor Diana Galiullina made the request at Moscow’s Presnensky district court on September 3 after Yefremov admitted he was guilty.

"I have a statement to make. Your honor, I plead guilty," Yefremov said.

Since the trial started on August 5, Yefremov had pleaded not guilty, insisting that he couldn't remember anything that took place in the evening of June 8.

The prosecutor at the trial stated on September 3 that Yefremov's guilt had been proven by testimony from police and witnesses.

Three witnesses testified that Yefremov was not alone in his car when it hit another vehicle in June, one of whom said Yefremov was not driving his SUV, while one testified that Yefremov came out of the car from the passenger side after the collision.

If convicted, Yefremov, who in recent years has criticized the Kremlin in his one-man performances, faces up to 12 years in prison.

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 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.

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 RIA Novosti

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