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Journalist Yesypenko to be sentenced in Crimea today

16.02.2022, 12:18
RFE/RL
RFE/RL

The Russian-controlled Simferopol District Court of the occupied Crimea is to announce the court decision in the case of freelancer Krym.Realii Vladyslav Yesypenko on February 16, as Radio Svoboda reported.

We will remind, on February 15 the prosecutors in the occupied Crimea demanded 11 years of imprisonment in case of illegal storage and transportation of the explosive device.

Yesipenko's lawyer Dmytro Dinze stated that the defense presented all the arguments in favor of an acquittal. According to the lawyer, it was a violation of the right to defense, lack of grounds for operational and investigative activities, destruction of physical evidence based on the results of the explosive examination.

Speaking in court on February 15, Yesipenko said the case was politically motivated.

"Why? Because I am a journalist of a Ukrainian publication and, most likely, the FSB officers wanted to show how unacceptable freedom of speech is. I believe that threats and torture in the 21st century are unacceptable. In 1937, my grandfather was tortured and executed by shooting. It seems that the KGB servicemen of that time had grandchildren, great-grandchildren, who are doing the same things as in 1937, "he said.

"If the verdict against me is not acquittal, I believe that it is a verdict on the whole system, because the FSB rules in Crimea," he added.

Jamie Fly, President of Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, called for the "immediate release" of Vladyslav Yesypenko.

As reported by IMI, the Supreme Court of Crimea, controlled by Russia, remanded Yesypenko in custody until March 18, 2022. 

On July 15, 2021, in the Russian-controlled Simferopol District Court, a Russian prosecutor issued an indictment in the case of Vladislav Yesypenko. He is charged under Articles 223-1 (illegal manufacture of explosives, processing or repair of explosive devices) and 222.1 (illegal acquisition, transfer, sale, storage, transportation or carrying of weapons, their main parts, ammunition) of the Criminal Code of Russia. 

Penalty under the both articles imposes up to 12 years in prison. The maximum term of imprisonment under a combination of two articles is 18 years.

As IMI reported, on March 10, Russian FSB officers detained Vladyslav Yesypenko in the occupied Crimea. Yesypenko took part in the action dedicated to Taras Shevchenko's anniversary, which took place in Simferopol on March 9. Vladyslav Yesypenko is charged with gathering information "in the interests of Ukraine's special services," including for the Foreign Intelligence Service, the Russian FSB's Public Relations Center reported on March 16. According to the FSB, Yesypenko "carried out photo and video recording of the area, livelihoods and places of mass stay of people in the Crimea."

As IMI reported, on April 6, Vladyslav Yesypenko said that FSB investigators had tortured him.

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