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Court releases kindergarten teacher convicted for reposting child abuse video

March 06, 12:44 UTC+3 YEKATERINBURG

The court has dismissed the criminal case since no crime has been committed

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Yevgenia Chudnovets

Yevgenia Chudnovets

© Photo from Chudnovets Vkontakte page

YEKATERINBURG, March 6. /TASS/. The conviction of Yevgenia Chudnovets, a kindergarten teacher sentenced to five months in a penal colony for reposting a video showing a child being tortured in a summer camp, has been overturned, defense attorney Alexey Bashmakov told TASS on Monday. The relevant ruling was made by the Kurgan District Court after the Supreme Court submitted a prosecutor’s cassation claim, he added.

Chudnovets’s second defense attorney Maria Kirillova told TASS that the release order had already been sent to the Nizhny Tagil penal colony where she was serving her sentence. "As soon as the colony receives the court’s ruling on the release, she will be freed. Of course, there are some technical aspects because the colony’s director needs to sign papers, but we hope that Yevgenia will be free today or tomorrow," the attorney said.

Russia’s Deputy Prosecutor General Leonid Korzhinek earlier submitted a cassation claim on the Chudnovets conviction to the Supreme Court, requesting that the conviction be overturned and the criminal case be dismissed since no crime had been committed. On February 28, the Supreme Court declared the deputy prosecutor general’s arguments to be noteworthy and, in turn, submitted a cassation claim to the Kurgan District Court.

Chudnovets was convicted under an article stipulating the "spreading, publicly demonstrating or advertising of data or items containing sexually explicit images of underage children" as she had reposted a video on a social network, showing a naked kid being tortured in a children’s camp in the town on Kataisk, the Kurgan region. The teacher herself explained that she could not let the flagrant incident go unnoticed. After that, two of the youth leaders at the camp were indicted.

In early January 2017, Chudnovets was incarcerated at the Shadrinsly pretrial detention center in the Kurgan region. According to Sergei Zykov, member of the Sverdlovsk regional Public Monitoring Commission, the teacher was punished for covering her feet with a blanket while in the cell. Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service has launched a probe in order to detect if Chudnovets’s incarceration was lawful. She was serving out her sentence at the women’s penal colony number six, located in the town of Nizhny Tagil, the Sverdlovsk region.

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