The former Russian diplomat who ran over two Ottawa women
last winter in a drunk driving accident was sentenced to
four years in a penal colony yesterday after he was
found guilty of involuntary manslaughter.
But his lawyer, Andrei Pavlov, said the almost unprecedented international
trial was "riddled with errors" and that he would appeal
the verdict within the seven days provided by Russian law.
"This decision was not a fully correct one," Pavlov said.
"He did not get a fair trial."
The penal colony is a type of low-security labour camp
most commonly located in Siberia or Russia's far north.
Andrei Knyazev, 46, showed no emotion as Judge Yelena Stashina
read out the verdict summarizing the evidence against him and
pronouncing the sentence, which was just one year short of
the maximum five-year prison term prescribed under Russian law.
Knyazev, a career diplomat, killed Catherine MacLean, 50, and seriously
injured Catherine Dore, 56, on a quiet Ottawa street on
Jan. 27, 2001. Knyazev used his diplomatic immunity to refuse a police breathalyser at the accident scene.
Stashina ruled Knyazev was guilty of violating about a dozen
separate traffic laws when his speeding car made an improper
right turn, bolted into the wrong lane, jumped up on
the sidewalk and slammed MacLean and Dore.
Knyazev, a mid-level political officer at the Russian Embassy in
Ottawa, was driving home with an embassy official after a
day of ice-fishing -- and drinking -- when the accident