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Military bench of Russia’s Supreme Court to examine sentence to Ukrainian film director

November 24, 2015, 6:26 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Sentsov’s lawyer Dmitry Dinze dismissed the sentence as "a hallmark of injustice and arbitrariness"

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© Mikhail Pochuyev/TASS Archive

MOSCOW, November 24. /TASS/. The military bench of Russia’s Supreme Court is expected to examine the legitimacy of a sentence issued to the controversial Ukrainian filmmaker, Oleg Sentsov, who was found guilty of organizing terrorist acts in Crimea.

Sentsov’s lawyer Dmitry Dinze dismissed the sentence as "a hallmark of injustice and arbitrariness". He insisted that the materials provided by defenders proved Sentsov was nonculpable.

Dinze claims Sentsov and the eyewitnesses had been subjected to pressure on the part of prosecution and, in addition, the court had ignored all the facts provided by the defense.

"We don’t think the Supreme Court will bring in any changes - maybe, it’ll slash a couple of years (which Sentsov is to spend in jail - TASS)," Dinze said. "Then we’ll be pressing for Senvtsov and Kolchenko’s (Sentsov’s accomplice Alexander Kolchenko - TASS) transfer to Ukraine for serving the remainders of their jail terms there but this is hard to achieve, since the judges believe them to be citizens of Russia.

He also said there was a break-even possibility of the two men’s "swap from someone else".

On August 25, the North-Caucasian District Military Court sentenced Sentsov to 20 years in a high security prison, while his accomplice Kolchenko was sentenced to ten years.

The prosecutors and the judges said Sentsov stood behind the setting-up of a terrorist ring in Crimea. The malefactors involved in it committed arsons in the offices of the Russian Community of Crimea public association and the regional branch of the Unites Russia party in spring 2014.

Also, they were preparing demolition of a monument to Vladimir Lenin.

Neither Sentsov nor Kolechenko recognize any guilt on their part and claim the case is politically motivated.

Another two malefactors featured in the same case, Gennady Afanasyev and Alexei Chirniy, were sentences to seven years behind bars each.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister voiced a resolute protest in connection with the sentence to Sentsov and Kolchenko and demanded their "immediate release".

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