Ochakovo has been given a stay of execution following accusations that it has polluted a Russian river.

A court in Moscow ruled yesterday (30 July) that there was insufficient evidence of the charge, levelled at the brewer and soft drinks maker by environmental watchdog Rosprironadzor. The organisation, whose name translates as the Federal Service for the Oversight of Natural Resources, accused Ochakovo last month of polluting several tributaries of the Moscow River. Ochakovo has denied being responsible for the damage to the rivers Neverka and Setun in the Russian capital, despite local claims that the tributaries smelled of beer.

Rosprironadzor has been calling for a 90-day suspension of operations at the drinks maker, which it claimed caused damage to the rivers amounting to around RUB2.75m (US$107,667).

But the court said the watchdog has to formalise its case correctly.

"The materials will be returned to Rosprirodnadzor due to the incorrect form of a protocol on administrative offence, and insufficient information," the judge said.