Russian judge resigns for apparently sleeping on the job

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A disciplinary panel of judges has approved the resignation of a Russian judge who apparently fell asleep during a court hearing.

Yevgeny Makhno, a judge in the far-eastern town of Blagoveshchensk, tendered his resignation earlier this week after video clips of him were uploaded onto YouTube.

The footage, which was apparently filmed in August of 2012, shows Mr Makhno sitting in what looks like a court room with his eyes closed and his head slumped to one side.

In another video, the judge appears to be engrossed in his mobile phone and sitting with his head drooping on his chest.

One clip was viewed over 75,000 times in just a few days.

The videos were posted in January by Vladislav Nikitenko, a local activist and the legal aid of Andrey Nalyotov - whom Mr Makhno sentenced to five years in a penal colony for fraud.

Mr Nikitenko has requested that Russia's Supreme Court rule on whether the sentence is legitimate if the judge "was not in control of the trial".

He hopes the video will help to overturn Nalyotov's sentence, whose appeal is scheduled for February 14.

Mr Makhno refutes the claims that he fell asleep at a hearing.

Previously, an internal inspection at the Blagoveshchensk city court confirmed that it was Mr Makhno in the videos but said it had not found any proof that the judge had actually fallen asleep during the hearing.

Following the judges' decision to approve his resignation Mr Makhno will be able to be re-instated after retaking some exams.

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