In the Republic of Buryatia, sentence imposed over a deputy accused of committing offenses against road safety and human life

The evidence collected by the Buryatia Republican Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of Russia was found by court to be sufficient to sentence Deputy of the People's Khural of the Republic of Buryatia Bair Zhambalov. He was found guilty of committing offenses under Paragraph B of Part 4 of Article 264 of the Criminal Code of Russia (violation of traffic rules by the person driving the vehicle entailing infliction of death of a person, combined with leaving the scene) and Article 125 of the Criminal Code of Russia (abandoning to danger).

Investigation and the court established that in the evening of January 5, 2020 the accused was returning from fishing in his Toyota Land Cruiser Prado car. On the highway near the village of Baturino, Pribaikalsky district of the Republic of Buryatia, Zhambalov, moving at a speed of at least 104 km/h, hit a minor girl crossing the roadway, after which he drove away from the scene of the incident without providing assistance to the victim. After a short time the girl hit by the car died in hospital from injuries inflicted by the driver.

Several hours after the accident a friend of the deputy, who had been fishing with him, visited law enforcement bodies and tried to take the guilt saying that he was the one driving Zhambalov's car and hitting the pedestrian. Allegedly, they had switched cars before the departure and the deputy was driving separately in another car. However, the man's testimony was subject to careful verification during which they have not been confirmed. Investigators arranged and carried out over 10 complex time-consuming examinations, questioned over 40 witnesses and performed 5 scene examinations in order to subsequently carry out an investigative experiment fully restoring the road situation during the hit-and-run accident. Investigation of the probe also included searched and seizures, vehicles inspection and other investigative and procedural activities. As a result, despite the attempts of the friend to incriminate himself, the deputy was nevertheless exposed and detained, however, he did not admit his guilt, continuing to insist on the initial version of the exchange of cars with numerous defenders and a friend. However, their arguments were refuted by the evidence collected and presented to the court.

Previously the Chairman of the Investigative Committee of Russia instructed the Central Office of the Committee to supervise the progress of investigation.

The court sentenced Zhambalov to 6 years and 1 month of imprisonment in a settlement colony and deprivation of the right to drive vehicles for a period of 2 years.

After the entry of this verdict into legal force, the issues of the criminal liability of a number of witnesses related to the deliberately false testimony given by them in favor of the deputy are subject to resolution.