Kyiv's Court of Appeal has commuted the sentence against former Ukrainian Environment Minister Heorhiy Filipchuk - instead of three years in prison he received a two-year suspended sentence.

The former minister in the Yulia Tymoshenko government, who attended the court hearing, was released from custody in the courtroom, UKRINFORM reported referring to the BBC Ukrainian Service.

At the same time, lawyer Mykola Shupenia said that the court had only partially satisfied an appeal of the defense team, which demanded a full justification for the ex-minister, as, in their opinion, there is no crime in his actions.

As UKRINFORM reported, on April 5, 2012, the Solomiansky District Court of Kyiv sentenced former Environment Minister Heorhiy Filipchuk to three years in prison, finding him guilty under Part 3, Article 365 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.

Filipchuk was convicted for abuse of office and power over the signing of an agreement with the AstapovLawyers law firm on the provision of consultations to the Environment Ministry during the consideration of a dispute at international law institutes regarding the cancellation of an agreement signed between the Ukrainian government and Vanco International Ltd. on the development of the Black Sea shelf.

According to some media reports, the ex-minister's family transferred UAH 1.4 million to the state budget, offsetting the damage caused by the minister to the state.

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