MOSCOW Oct 17 A Moscow court on Monday punished
the son of a top oil executive for leading police on a
Hollywood-style car chase through the streets of Moscow, in a
case which has focused public anger on how the offspring of
Russia's elite behave.
Ruslan Shamsuarov, the son of a senior Lukoil executive,
evaded police for five hours on May 22 along with several
friends in his $175,000 Mercedes jeep, part of what the group
said was high spirited post-nightclub entertainment.
The footage went viral on the Russian-language internet,
making it harder for the authorities to ignore.
Careering through the largely deserted streets of early
morning Moscow, the jeep -- with no licence plates and tinted
windows -- can be seen mounting and crossing central
reservations, driving on the wrong side of the road, and running
Its occupants laugh and insult the police and at the chase's
end, Shamsuarov predicts he will escape serious punishment.
Initially he was right: police first gave him a fine of just
5,000 roubles ($77.32), a paltry sum for him and his friends.
But on Monday, after what looked like a sustained
Kremlin-backed campaign, a court sentenced him to 300 hours of
compulsory community service and ordered the state to confiscate
his expensive vehicle.
The case was unusual because the Russian elite's children
have long used Moscow's roads as a personal race track with
The court rejected a state prosecutor's demand to sentence
him to more than two years in jail, but prosecutors said they
would appeal the ruling and demand a tougher sentence.
($1 = 62.2255 roubles)
(Reporting by Dmitry Solovyov; Writing by Dmitry
Solovyov/Andrew Osborn; Editing by Christian Lowe)