6 Aug 2020 18:26

New Greatness activists convicted of extremism receive suspended, real jail terms

MOSCOW. Aug 6 (Interfax) - Moscow's Lyublinsky District Court has handed down various sentences, including suspended sentences, to seven defendants in the so-called New Greatness case after finding them guilty of creating an extremist group.

Vyacheslav Kostylenkov was given seven years of imprisonment at a medium-security facility, Pyotr Karamzin received six and a half years, and Vyacheslav Kryukov was given six years; Maksim Roschin, Dmitry Poletayev, Mariya Dubovik, and Anna Pavlikova have all been given a suspended prison sentences of six and a half years, six years, six years, and four years, respectively, justice Alexander Maslov ruled.

All seven have also been banned for five years from publically publishing material and messages on the Internet for an unlimited audience. The court also imposed freedom restrictions and probation periods on those with suspended sentences.

Karamzin, Kryukov, and Roshchin will remain in custody until the verdict goes into effect. Poletayev was released in court, and the other four have had their house arrest lifted.

All have been found guilty of creating an extremist group.

The inquiry found that the activists wanted to overthrow the constitutional system and install a provisional government. The defense maintained that the charges were based on the testimonies of undercover officers who infiltrated the group.

During oral arguments, the prosecutor requested sentences of between four years, suspended, and seven and a half years of imprisonment at a medium-security facility. The defense asked for acquittal.

Parallel to the main case is another case being heard by the same court against Pavel Rebrovsky, who pleaded guilty and initially struck a deal with investigators, but withdrew it later.

A co-defendant in the New Greatness case who pleaded guilty, Rustam Rustamov, was given a two-year suspended sentence.

Sergei Gavrilov, the main case defendant, broke house arrest last October and is now wanted. A court ruled in his absence that he be remanded in custody once apprehended. According to some media reports, Gavrilov is now in Ukraine.