Justice in Putin's Russia
In Valdmir Putin's Russia, it's not the crime you commit but who you know that will help you escape justice.
Anna Shavenkova, 28, caused a national outcry earlier this year after a video of the horrific December 2009 traffic accident went viral on YouTube.
Ms Shavenkova lost control of her car and mounted the pavement, hitting two sisters who were walking in central Irkutsk, Siberia, at the time. One of the sisters later died of her injuries, while the other was crippled for life.On Tuesday, a local court found her guilty of manslaughter and sentenced her to a three-year jail term. But in an almost unheard of exemption, it said she would not have to start the sentence until 2024 when her newly-born child will be fourteen years old. The decision is likely to fuel ordinary people's suspicions that there is one law for them and another for the Russian elite. Both sides said they would appeal.
Ms Shavenkova, whose mother is the head of the local election commission, sparked fury at the time due to her apparent indifference to what she had done. She showed no interest in the two women she had just run over but instead rushed to inspect damage to her own car and phone someone (not an ambulance).
Shavenkova is an advisor to Putin's United Russia party and was not arrested until months later following a public outcry. She was never tested to see if she was under the influence.
There is no law in Russia except Putin's law.