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Putin pardons Russian woman convicted of high treason

According to the Kremlin press service, the president signed the decree "based on the principles of humanity"

MOSCOW, March 7. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree pardoning Oksana Sevastidi convicted of high treason, the Kremlin press service said.

According to the press service, the president signed the decree "based on the principles of humanity". The document says that Sevastidi should be released so that she does not have to further serve her prison sentence. The decree takes effect in five days after its official publication.

Meanwhile, Sevastidi’s defense attorney Yevgeny Smirnov told TASS that despite the pardon, his client would demand that her sentence be overturned and she be cleared of the charge.

"In spite of the pardon, we will continue to fight on so that her sentence is overturned and she could be acquitted of high treason, since the sentence is unlawful and should not remain as is," the attorney noted

In March 2016, Sevastidi, born in 1970 in the city of Yekaterinburg (then Sverdlovsk), was sentenced to seven years behind bars under Article 275 of the Russian Criminal Code (high treason). In 2008, while in Sochi, she texted an SMS-message to her acquaintance in Georgia pointing to the movement of military hardware convoys towards Abkhazia. She has been serving her sentence in a penal colony in the Ivanovo region.