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Court overturns verdict for the Opposition activist

February 15, 2012, 11:17 UTC+3
On Wednesday the Smolensk region court overturned the verdict for the Other Russia activist Taisia Osipova, who has been sentenced to ten years in prison for selling narcotics
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SMOLENSK, February 15 (Itar-Tass) — On Wednesday the Smolensk region court overturned the verdict for the Other Russia activist Taisia Osipova, who has been sentenced to ten years in prison for selling narcotics. Her case was sent for a review.

The court thereby met the petition of her lawyer, who insisted that the charges had been fabricated. A representative of the prosecutor's office asked to cut the prison term for Osipova to four years.

Taisia Osipova has a five-year-old child. She suffers from several serious illnesses, including diabetes.

In late December, the Zadneprovsky court found Osipova guilty of drug sales "in particularly large amounts" and sentenced her to ten years in prison.

Detectives found five parcels containing heroin and a marked banknote.

At a meeting between President Dmitry Medvedev and the students of the department for journalism of the Lomonosov Moscow State University in January 2012, the president was asked about Taisia Osipova's case. Medvedev replied he was "ready to request the case materials" and ordered prosecutors to analyze it once again. He also said that he would consider her pardon plea. "I'm ready to request the materials of her case and issue the instruction to the prosecutors to analyze it once again. If she files a pardon plea according to the established procedure, I'll certainly be ready to consider it. Of course, it all happens at the convicted person's initiative," the head of state said.

Osipova's lawyer said the issue of pardoning her can only be raised after consideration of the causational and supervisory appeals.

Taisia Osipova is wife of member of the Other Russia's executive committee Sergei Fomchenkov.

Her lawyer believes she was arrested because of her husband’s political activity, but police flatly deny it.

Various actions have been staged in support of Osipova. On Tuesday night, bloggers organized a car run from Moscow to Smolensk under the slogan "Freedom to Taisia Osipova!"

Osipova's defence is satisfied with the court's ruling. Lawyer Natalia Shaposhnikova said "the court took into account the defence’s arguments that part of the evidence had been obtained with procedural violations during investigative actions."

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