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A Russian judge has resigned after a video showed him asleep during a trial that ended with him sentencing the defendant to five years in a penal colony.
Critics of the Russian justice system, which has a notoriously high conviction rate, were outraged when the video purporting to show judge Yevgeny Makhno sleeping through a defense lawyer’s speech in court was posted online in January, Russian media reported.
"The Judges Qualification Panel accepted Makhno's resignation from his judge's post," regional judge and panel member Valentina Pozharskaya told state news agency RIA Novosti.
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The clip, allegedly shot during a fraud trial last July in the far-eastern town of Blagoveshchensk, seems to show Makhno slumped in his chair fast asleep with his head cocked to one side.
The businessman sentenced to five years hard labor, will have a new trial on 14th February after an appeal was lodged over the "unjust" sentence, Russian media said.
Russia's justice system has been in the spotlight recently over several high-profile court cases including the trial of punk protest collective Pussy Riot. The band's three members were sentenced to two years in prison on charges of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred after they performed an anti-Putin prayer last year, which Russian and foreign commentators called excessive.
Makhno will eventually be able to return to his post provided he retakes his exams.