MOSCOW (AFP) – A Frenchman was sentenced to 10 months in a Russian penal colony yesterday after being convicted of trying to bribe local police during a document check, his lawyer said.
Gurvan Le Gall, who runs a French online language school in the Volga city of Samara, has already spent five months behind bars pending his trial.
He will have to serve 47 more days in the colony due his time served under arrest.
The 40-year-old, who maintains his innocence, was arrested at the end of March after allegedly offering police 15,000 rubles (USD225) when a check found him without the necessary papers.
His lawyer Alexander Delavay told AFP that his client was simply trying to pay what he thought was a fine rather than offer a bribe.
Police have the right to check people’s documents on the streets in Russia and foreigners are required to have papers in addition to their passport and visa.