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Guilty Verdicts All Around in Bulgaria Ship Sinking Case

Five defendants implicated in the case of a 2011 river cruise tragedy that claimed 122 lives were convicted by a Kazan court on Thursday.

On July 10, 2011, a cruise ship named Bulgaria was floating down the Volga River through Tatarstan when bad weather turned catastrophic. Caught in a storm, the ship sank. Many of the victims were children.

Defendants in the case included the head of the company that leased out the ship and several officials in charge of inspecting and keeping tabs on its condition. Hearings in the case began in May 2013, with all the defendants pleading not guilty.

On Thursday, the Moscow District Court in Kazan ruled that Svetlana Inyakina, the ship's sublessor, had failed to properly train the crew, violated rules for the ship's operation and failed to properly prepare it for use, RIA Novosti reported.

Prosecutors earlier sought a 14.5-years prison sentence against Inyakina.

The others found guilty in the case include Yakov Ivashov, senior expert at the federal institution "Russian River Register," who was responsible for classifying ships for the Transportation Ministry; Irek Timergazeyev, head of the Kazan branch of the Federal Transportation Inspection Service; Ramil Khametov, senior aide to the ship's captain; Vladislav Semyonov, head inspector at the Kazan branch of the Federal Transportation Inspection Service.

Prosecutors have requested seven years for Ivashov, eight for Semyonov, six years and ten months for Khametov, and three for Timergazeyev.

The court's sentences are expected to be handed down on Friday or Monday.

Earlier, a separate court fined the captain of a vessel that had passed the Bulgaria at the time of its sinking but done nothing to rescue passengers 130,000 rubles ($4,200).

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