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Russian Justice Ministry refuses to transfer jailed filmmaker to Ukraine

October 21, 2016, 19:44 UTC+3

Sentsov’s transfer to Ukraine is impossible under the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons, according to the ministry

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MOSCOW, October 21. /TASS/. The jailed film director Oleg Sentsov’s transfer to Ukraine to serve out his prison term there is impossible as he has a Russian citizenship, Russian Justice Ministry’s press service said on Friday.

"Basing on the analysis of the documents requested at the convict’s appeal, including in line with a ruling of the Russian Interior Ministry’s migration department, it was established that O.G. Sentsov had obtained the Russian citizenship in compliance with the federal constitutional law ‘On the Accession of the Republic of Crimea in the Russian Federation and on Forming New Constituent Entities within the Russian Federation’," the ministry said.

In addition, Sentsov has not quitted the Russian citizenship.

"Following this, Sentsov’s transfer to Ukraine is impossible under the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons adopted on March 21, 1983," it said.

Russian laws say that a Russian national with dual or multiple citizenship is considered in the Russian Federation only as a Russian citizen except the cases stipulated by the Russian international agreements or federal laws. Russia and Ukraine have not signed an international agreement regulating issues of dual citizenship.

On October 7, Russia’s Justice Ministry notified Ukraine’s Justice Ministry of its refusal. 

Russia’s Justice Ministry has also refused to transfer Aleksander Kolchenko, sentenced in Russia to a prison term, to Ukraine to serve out his prison term there, says a document posted by Ukraine’s Deputy Justice Minister for European Integration Sergei Petukhov on his Facebook page on Friday.

"Since Russia and Ukraine have not signed the international agreement regulating the issues of dual citizenship and as Aleksander Kolchenko is a Russian citizen, this convict’s transfer to Ukraine is impossible under the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons of 1983," Russia’s Justice Ministry said in the document.

On 25 August, 2015, Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, best known for his 2011 film Gamer, was found guilty of terrorism. The North Caucasus district military court in Rostov sentenced him to 20 years behind bars on charges of setting up a terrorist cell in Crimea and plotting terrorist attacks. In the spring of 2014, the group’s participants carried out two terror attacks, setting fire to the offices of Crimea’s Russian Community public organization and a regional office of the Untied Russia party. In addition, they plotted to blow up a monument to Vladimir Lenin.

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