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Rural Schoolteacher Farber to Be Released on Parole, Son Says

Pyotr Farber at a roundtable discussion in September 2013. Vedomosti / E. Razumny

Rural schoolteacher Ilya Farber, who was convicted of bribery in a case that observers say was flawed, will be released on parole, his son Pyotr said Thursday.

"Tomorrow, on Jan. 10, 2014 my father will be released from the pretrial detention center No. 1 in Tver presumably in the first part of the day. We'll see each other in Tver!" Pyotr wrote on his Twitter account.

On Dec. 31 a Tver district court granted the parole motion of the convicted teacher, who was sentenced for three years for bribery, Interfax reported.

A Tver regional court earlier reduced the initial eight-year sentence for Farber to three years, which allowed him to apply for parole.

Farber has vehemently denied his guilt and called all accusations against him a "provocation".

According to case materials, in July and August of 2011 Farber, who worked as a teacher in the village of Moshenka after leaving his designer job in Moscow, received bribes totaling 432,000 rubles ($13,000) from the director of a regional construction company in exchange for permission to continue repair work at the local country club and Farber's signing off on the renovations.

In reality, the work had not been completed and by signing for its completion Farber had caused damage to the country club estimated at 941,000 rubles, prosecutors said.

The court agreed and ordered Farber to pay a 3.2 million ruble fine in addition to serving an eight-year sentence in a maximum security prison.

Farber maintained that what he received from the company was the return of money he had put up for the renovations after the constructors had not received state funds.

The sentence caused outrage in the Russian blogosphere, as observers recalled officials who had embezzled much larger sums of money and received suspended sentences. The former designer's lawyer also spoke of legal violations during the trial. Reports also surfaced that Farber had been dating a local administration head once courted by a Federal Security Service official.

In early September President Vladimir Putin had called the sentence "outrageous" and suggested that there may have been "errors" in the teacher's case.

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