RUSSIAN DIPLOMATS accused of 2 road accident to be tried under Russian law

Two staff members of the Russian Embassy in Ottawa, charged with traffic offences, will be brought to justice in accordance with the Russian legislation, Vladimir Martynov, public relations chief at the Investigation Department of Russia’s Interior Ministry is quoted as saying by RIA Novosti. Mr. Martynov cited the article of Russia’s Criminal Code that provides for imprisonment of up to five years for traffic crimes leading to manslaughter. Mr. Martynov pointed out that the staff of the diplomatic corps were covered by the article of the Criminal Code that stipulates that the citizens of the Russian Federation who committed crimes beyond the national borders were to be called to criminal account in accordance with the Criminal Code of their home country. He reminded that Andrei Knyazev, first secretary of the Russian embassy in Canada, and the ambassador's driver, Yevgeny Blokhin, were on their way to Moscow. The investigation has not yet begun because the Canadian investigation materials have not yet reached Moscow. According to Mr. Martynov, the two men had not yet been charged in Russia. Andrei Knyazev was charged in Canada with a traffic accident that resulted in the death of one woman and heavy injuries of another one. There were no casualties during the second accident, which happened on the same day, but Yevgeny Blokhin was recognised guilty of it. According to the Canadian police, both members of the Russian diplomatic mission were drunk while driving. The Canadian Foreign Ministry asked the Russian authorities to strip the two men of their diplomatic immunity. But the Russian Foreign Ministry refused to comply, citing the Geneva Convention as the reason. Instead, it was decided that Knyazev and Blokhin would be immediately flown back to Moscow.

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