Photo: Judge Resigns After Video Shows Him Sleeping During A Trial

Judge Yevgeny Makhno dozed off during trial
Judge Yevgeny Makhno dozed off during trial

A Russian judge has resigned after a video apparently showed him asleep during a trial that ended with him sentencing the defendant to five years in a penal colony, Russian media reported on Friday.

Russian justice system has a notoriously high conviction rate, and the critics of the system were outraged when the video purporting to show Judge Yevgeny Makhno sleeping through a defense lawyer’s speech in court was posted online in January.

“The Judges Qualification Panel accepted Makhno’s resignation from his judge’s post,” regional judge and panel member Valentina Pozharskaya told state news agency RIA Novosti.

The video which was allegedly shot during a fraud trial last July in the far-eastern town of Blagoveshchensk, seems to show Makhno slumped in his chair fast asleep with his head cocked to one side.

The businessman who was sentenced to five years hard labour by the sleeping judge will have a new trial on February 14, after an appeal was lodged over the “unjust” sentence, Russian media said.

According to Russian media, the sleeping judge will eventually be able to return to his post provided he retakes his exams.