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Former Top Eye Doctor Wins Job Back

Ophthalmologist Khristo Takhchidi

Moscow City Court on Wednesday ruled in favor of ophthalmologist Khristo Takhchidi in his lawsuit to be reinstated as the head of Russia's top eye clinic, six months after he was fired from the job for alleged corruption.

The Health and Social Development Ministry in November decided not to renew Takhchidi's contract as the top doctor at Moscow's Eye Microsurgery clinic, which performs 350,000 eye operations a year, or 60 percent of the total nationwide. The ministry had accused the clinic of having demanded bribes from patients while Takhchidi was head of the clinic, a post he had held since 2001.

Takhchidi said the allegations were "lies" and sued the ministry to get his job back. In February, the Tverskoi Court in Moscow ruled against him in his lawsuit.

On Wednesday, Moscow City Court overturned the lower court ruling.

A health ministry spokesperson told RIA-Novosti that the ministry would appeal the decision and said the violations uncovered at Eye Microsurgery had been confirmed by the Prosecutor General's office. Takhchidi said prosecutors discovered no illegal activity in his time as the clinic's head surgeon.

After Takhchadi was fired in November, his job was given to high-ranking United Russia member and doctor Alexander Chukhrayov. At the time, Takhchadi claimed that his ouster was part of a two-year campaign to sack him, without specifying the reason for the effort. Moskovsky Komsomolets reported that he had refused to participate in a corruption scheme.

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