Narva politician Sergei Gorlatš found guilty of vote-buying
Thursday, the Viru County District Court found Sergei Gorlatš, a member of the City Council of Narva, guilty of improperly influencing voters. If the sentence comes to force, he will spend one month in prison.
The court found Gorlatš guilty and sentenced him to one year and eight months in prison.
The ERR Russian-language news portal reports that one month of this sentence will be enforced immediately and the remaining two years will be served on probation.
The indictment says that Gorlatš, along with Simonova, a member of the board of the NGO Narva Kutsehaigete Ühing (Narva Association of Disabled Persons), organized a vacation for 40 people from Narva to Toila that included a tour, spa visit and picnic. The spa visit and excursion were paid for by Gorlatš and the picnic and transportation were paid for by the NGO Narva Kutseigete Ühing, the prosecutor's office reports. Later, the attendees were permitted to vote electronically on Gorlatš' laptop while still on the bus. 17 persons did so.
As Gorlatš was detained for one day during the pre-trial investigation, he will be required to serve another 29 days in prison once his sentence takes effect.
The date and location of the prison to which Gorlatš will be sentenced will be communicated to him in a separate letter from the court.
In his ruling, Judge Innokenti Menshikov said that Gorlatš' conduct was consistent with the criminal charges brought against him by the prosecution.
Within seven days, Gorlatš can notify the Viru County District Court of his intention to appeal this ruling.
Gorlatš, a Reform Party member at that time, ran for office on Katri Raik's "Narva Future" list and received 408 votes.
Prior to the election, it was expected that he would be elected as the chair of the city council; however, after allegations of vote-buying surfaced, representatives on Raik's list refused to work with him.
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Editor: Kristina Kersa