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Director of Moscow's Library of Ukrainian Literature says not guilty of extremism

Natalya Sharina was detained in Moscow on Thursday for disseminating extremist literature

MOSCOW, October 30. /TASS/. Director of the Moscow-based state-funded institution of culture 'The Library of Ukrainian Literature ', Natalya Sharina, who was detained in Moscow on Thursday for disseminating extremist literature, has been issued official charges with extremism, TASS was told by an investigator at the Taganka district court.

Friday night, the court was considering a pretrial measure for her. Somewhat earlier, the prosecutors asked the judges to choose a measure otherwise than custody and house arrest.

Sharina told the judges in the courtroom she did not recognize any guilt on her part.

"I didn't do anything illegal," she said. "I took up the director's position in 2011. There was nothing unlawful in what I have been doing."

"The library staff examined the new arrivals carefully and as soon as one or another titles was added to the list of extremist literature, we immediately excluded them from general public access," Sharina said.

She indicated she felt well while the court was considering arrest as a pretrial measure for her.

Sharina’s lawyer Ivan Pavlov said investigators at the Taganka district investigations committee had to call an ambulance for her earlier in the day when she was questioned - a fourth occasion in the past two days, on which she needed assistance from emergency medics because of a surged of blood pressure.

Sharina voiced the hope her criminal case would be closed soon enough.

"I’d like to see this all end as soon as possible - and to see an ending that would be lawful and fair," she said. "I didn’t commit any criminal offences. I’m even glad there’ll be a court trial that will clear out everything."

Literature entered in the list of extremist materials was found during a search on the premises of the Ukrainian Literature Library. A criminal case instituted against its director cited charges with the fanning of ethnic hate and strife, as well as with abasement of human dignity.