Geneva ordered to compensate businessman for time served

Sergei Mikhailov (centre) arriving for his trial in 1998 Keystone

Canton Geneva has been ordered to pay SFr800,000 ($482,000) to a Russian businessman wrongly charged with being a mafia boss. The money is compensation for the two years the man spent in prison.

This content was published on July 24, 2000 - 13:09

The Geneva appeals court on Monday granted Sergei Mikhailov the full amount he had claimed, accepting that he had lost several hundred thousand francs in income while he was in prison.

Mikhailov sued the canton after a jury acquitted him in December 1998 of charges of belonging to a criminal organisation and forging documents.

The court rejected the prosecutor's argument that compensation should be much lower.

Geneva law sets the usual compensation level at SFr10,000, but this can be raised in exceptional circumstances.

Mikhailov was accused of being the boss of a Moscow-based mafia gang and was tried under unprecedented security with some of the 90 witnesses under police protection.

He returned to Russia shortly after his acquittal.

swissinfo with agencies

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