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Bulgarian Figure Skating Champion Sentenced to 2.5 Years in Prison
    2009-01-05 20:56:28     Xinhua

World ice dance champion Maxim Staviski is seen in the courtroom before his trial at the District court in the city of Bourgas, some 370 km (230 miles) east of Bulgarian capital Sofia January 30, 2008. [Photo: Reuters]

Bulgaria's figure skating champion Maxim Staviski will be jailed for two and a half years after a local court overruled an initial verdict on him of suspended sentence.

In January 2008, Staviski was given a suspended sentence of 2 and 1/2 years for driving drunk and causing a car crash on August 5, 2007, which left Peter Petrov, 24, dead and Manuela Gorsova, 18, comatose. The case was referred to the Burgas Appellate Court last December by the victims' parents.

A three-member panel of the Burgas Appellate Court on Monday made a ruling that Staviski would have to stay in prison for 2 and 1/2 years. They also changed the amount of the original compensation -- 120,000 leva (about 85,700 U.S. dollars) to Peter's parents (up from 90,000 leva), and 150,000 leva (about 107,000 U.S. dollars) to Manuela's family (up from 80,000 leva).

However, the Appellate Court decision was made on a 2 to 1 votes, with the panel president Georgi Koshnicharov signing with dissenting opinion.

Koshnicharov told reporters that he did not believe Staviski's incarceration "for such a long time would help achieve general prevention". He also disagreed with the increase of the compensation.

Staviski's lawyers said later on the day that they were disappointed by the Court's ruling, and that they were going to appeal it. They have a right to do that before the Supreme Cassation Court within 15 days.

Staviski was born in Russia but was granted Bulgarian citizenship.



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