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Former Russian intelligence colonel sentenced to 1.5 years in prison for extremism

August 18, 12:32 UTC+3 SAMARA
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SAMARA, August 18, /TASS/. The Volga District Military Court in Samara has sentenced former intelligence colonel Vladimir Kvachkov, currently serving his 8-year prison term for an attempt to organize an armed uprising, to 1.5 years in prison for inciting hatred, TASS reports from the courtroom.

"The Volga District Military Court has found Kvachkov guilty under part 1, article 282 of Russia’s Criminal Code ("The Incitement of Hatred or Enmity as well as Humiliation of Human Dignity") and sentenced him to one year and six months in a strict security penal colony," the court’s verdict reads.

Pursuant to the court’s ruling, Kvachkov’s unserved term of one year and four months is added to the prison term announced on Friday under cumulative punishment. By partially accumulating punishments, Kvachkov will have to stay for two years in a penal colony, the verdict reads.

Kvachkov case

Criminal proceedings were launched after Kvachkov’s video appeal was posted on YouTube in March 2015 to mark ten years after an attempt on the life of Rusnano chief Anatoly Chubais, who at the time was head of national power monopoly Unified Energy System. Within a year, investigators were probing into the video, seeing evidence of extremism in it.

In March 2016, Kvachkov was officially named as defendant. The case was initially opened under article 205.2 of Russia’s Criminal Code "Public Calls for Conducting Terrorist Activity or Public Justification of Terrorism." During the court proceedings, the state prosecutors requested the court to re-qualify the case and charge the defendant under article 282 of Russia’s Criminal Code and demanded three years in prison for Kvachkov. The former intelligence colonel denied his guilt.

During the judicial proceedings, Kvachkov’s lawyers appealed to the court with a request to terminate the criminal prosecution of their defendant on the grounds of the absence of the elements of crime in his acts. As lawyer Sergei Orlov noted, the video, according to the investigation’s data, was posted in the Internet by unidentified persons. According to the lawyer, Kvachkov, who was serving another sentence at that time in a penal colony, had no possibility to post this video in the Internet.

Earlier, Kvachkov, a former colonel of GRU military intelligence, was charged with leading a shooting and bombing attack in 2005 on a convoy carrying Anatoly Chubais.

Chubais, an architect of the liberal reforms in the 1990s, is reviled by many for the chaos that accompanied the country's rapid transition to a market economy.

A jury cleared Kvachkov and his associates of all the charges in 2008. The Supreme Court overturned the decision in 2009 and a retrial ended with another acquittal in September, upheld by the Supreme Court. The state paid the retired colonel 450,000 rubles (about 7,595 US dollars) in compensation for the illegal criminal prosecution.

Kvachkov was convicted again in 2013 on charges of an attempt to organize an armed uprising and for recruitment and involvement of people into terrorist activities.

Colonel Kvachkov organized the Minin and Pozharsky Public Militia movement in February 2009. He used the names of Kuzma Minin and Count Dmitry Pozharsky, the two national heroes who led an uprising against Polish invaders early in the 17th century and finally liberated Moscow and the rest of Russia from the Poles, in the organization’s name.

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