MOSCOW, October 20. /TASS/. A city court in the Czech capital of Prague on Thursday released previously arrested Russian national Alexander Franchetti at Ukraine’s request, Deputy Chairman of the Russian branch of the International Committee of Human Rights Ivan Melnikov told TASS.
"On Thursday, the court dropped all charges against Franchetti and ruled that he be released from custody due to a lack of evidence against him," the human rights defender said. According to Melnikov, the Russian’s release is the result of joint efforts by the Russian Foreign Ministry, his Czech lawyers, human rights activists and his representative at the European Court of Human Rights Alexander Surzhin.
Meanwhile, Surzhin told TASS that the prosecution planned to appeal the court’s ruling.
News came on August 12 that the Prague-based Supreme Prosecutor’s Office had charged Franchetti with creating an organized crime group in Crimea’s Sevastopol. According to Czech investigators, the Russian headed one of the "Crimean Self-Defense Units in Sevastopol."
In June, the Prague High Court rejected Kiev’s request to extradite Franchetti to Ukraine where he was accused of involvement in the 2014 developments in Crimea. On April 21, the Czech National Center for Combating Organized Crime brought charges against him for involvement in organized crime during the 2014 events. The charges came shortly after the Prague High Court had released Franchetti from jail where he had been held since September 2021.