BRYANSK, March 26 (RIA Novosti) – A court in Russia has overturned an earlier ruling that forced a former Russian lawmaker to pay compensation to Nazi concentration camp survivors over controversial comments he made last year.
Andrei Yershov, formerly of the ruling United Russia party, said at a City Council meeting in west Russia’s Smolensk last November that he did not see why the authorities should supply concentration camp survivors with free transportation passes.
“Why is it that we owe them anything? Why? For the simple reason that they were not finished off?” Yershov said.
He resigned after his comments went viral and caused a nationwide storm. He also apologized for any offense he may have caused.
Yershov was subsequently ordered to pay $330 in compensation to two concentration camp survivors after they lodged complaints. One of the women has since died.
A court of appeals in Smolensk ruled this week that Yershov had not publically insulted the surviving woman or the “social group” she belongs to, the Smolenskaya Nedelya newspaper said.