20 Sep 2019 12:28

Moscow City Court to verify legality of Ustinov's sentence on Sept 26

MOSCOW. Sept 20 (Interfax) - The Moscow City Court will verify the legality of the 3.5-year sentence, which has been passed on actor Pavel Ustinov on counts of attacking an OMON police officer, on September 26.

"The appeal chamber has been scheduled to meet at 10 a.m. Moscow time on Thursday, September 26, to hear the appeal lodged by the defense and the motion of the prosecution service," court press secretary Ulyana Solopova told Interfax.

"A number of media outlets have wrongly said that the hearing of the appeal against the sentence was moved from Monday till Thursday. This is not so. The hearing of the appeal against the sentence was never scheduled for Monday in the first place," Solopova said.

The defense asked the court to overrule Ustinov's sentence and to acquit him due to the absence of formal elements of a crime.

Meanwhile, spokesman for the Russian Prosecutor General's Office Alexander Kurennoi said on Thursday that the agency deemed the culpability of the actor, who was convicted of attacking a police officer during an opposition protest in the center of Moscow on August 3, to be proven, but believed that the sentence "should be adjusted, considering that it was excessive, and therefore unfair."

Hence, the Prosecutor General's Office requested that the actor's prison term be replaced with a suspended sentence.

On Monday, the Moscow Tverskoi District Court sentenced actor Pavel Ustinov, 24, to 3.5 years in a penitentiary for subjecting an OMON officer to violence during a rally which took place on August 3 in downtown Moscow.

Theatre and movie actors organized a flash mob in Ustinov's support after the sentencing. A petition for his release was signed by over 112,000 persons in one day. People stood in line to take part in one-man demonstrations supporting the actor on Staraya Square on September 18. Teachers, rights activists, and Orthodox priests have also demanded that the case be reviewed.