18 Sep 2017 13:25

Blogger Sokolovsky's lawyer contests sentence in Sverdlovsk region court

YEKATERINBURG. Sept 18 (Interfax) - Lawyer Alexei Bushmakov has filed an appeal with the presidium of the Sverdlovsk Region Court against blogger Ruslan Sokolovsky's sentence. He received a suspended sentence for insulting believers' feelings.

"Cassation appeals against the sentence and the appellate decision were filed on September 14," Bushmakov told Interfax.

The Sverdlovsk Region Court's press service confirmed that the complaint had been received and had been forwarded to the judge for review on September 15.

It was reported earlier that Sokolovsky posted a video on the Internet in summer 2016 showing him catching Pokemon in the Church on the Blood, built on the site of the Ipatyev house, in the basement of which the family of the last Russian emperor was shot and killed in 1918.

The investigation determined that Sokolovsky had posted on YouTube nine video files which, according to expert evaluations, contain signs of the fanning of hatred or feuds in the period between May 2013 and September 2016. Some of them were found by experts to insult the feelings of believers. Additionally, a "spy" ball point pen was found in the blogger's apartment.

On May 11, the Yekaterinburg Verkh-Isetsky District Court gave Sokolovsky a suspended prison sentence of three years and six months. The court found that his rehabilitation is possible without real imprisonment.

Sokolovsky was found guilty of nine counts of the fanning of hatred or feuds and belittling a person's dignity, and seven counts of public actions expressing clear disrespect for society and committed for the purpose of insulting believers' religious feelings.

The sentence also said the young man had purchased a special technical device without permission, a pen with a built-in video recorder, which was found in his apartment during the search, based on which he was found guilty of the illegal possession of such devices.

The Sverdlovsk Regional Court ruled on July 7 to commute Sokolovsky's suspended sentence to two years and three months and dropped the charge of illegal possession of special technical devices intended to covertly gather information.

Sokolovsky's conviction received widespread publicity.