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Trial started against ATR TV owner in Crimea

12.05.2020, 21:23
Photo credit: Serhiy Nuzhnenko?Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
Photo credit: Serhiy Nuzhnenko?Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

The panel of the Russian-controlled Supreme Court of Crimea started hearing the criminal case instituted against the owner of Crimean Tatar TV channel ATR Lenur Islamov, as Krym.Realii (RFE/RL) reported.

Islamov has been accused of “organizing an illegal armed group, committing sabotage, as well as six episodes of Art. 280 of the Criminal Code of Russia - "Public calls for extremist activities."

Due to the high coronavirus alert in Crimea until May 31, the trial was held closed-door. Thus, no comments of defense were available.

Krym.Realii is also trying to find out Lenur Islamov's standpoint on this trial.

Earlier, three indictments were issued in Crimea against Crimean Tatars, who were found guilty of being members of the Noman Chelebidzhikhan Volunteer Battalion, founded by Lenur Islamov.

Two absentee sentences were also delivered to Crimeans suspected of being members of the group, namely to a personal Islamov's " bodyguard ."

The Russian FSB opened a criminal case against Lenur Islamov in October 2015 and declared him federal wanted.

In December 2015, the court in Crimea seized Islamov's property on the peninsula. On December 21, Natalia Poklonskaya, then the Russian prosecutor in Crimea, said Islamov had been charged in absentia with sabotage. Islamov himself called all these decisions illegitimate.

ATR TV channel stopped analog broadcasting on the territory of the annexed Crimea since April 1, 2015, because the broadcaster did not get Russian license. Broadcasting resumed on June 17, 2015: the TV channel moved to Kyiv.

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