MOSCOW, November 24. /TASS/. The Military Collegium of the Russian Supreme Court has recognized as legitimate on Tuesday the verdict to Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov and his accomplice Alexander Kolchenko sentenced to 20 and 10 years in prison for terrorist attacks in Crimea. It thus denied the lawyers’ application.
According to law, the verdict has come into effect today and became subject to compulsory implementation.
After the court ruling Sentsov’s lawyer Dmitry Dinze told reporters that "the result was predictable, and the lawyers intended to defend the innocence of the convicts." "Then we will appeal the verdict at the court of cassation and will address the issue of their exchange," the lawyer said. He did not rule out the possibility of appealing to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
For her part, Kolchenko’s lawyer Svetlana Sidorkina noted that "there were two swap options." "The first is political, when two countries agree and exchange convicts. And the second option is in accordance with the law, when a convict may be sent to serve his prison sentence to the country whose citizen he is," she said, adding that "the lawyers would use both options."
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.