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Defendants in Russia’s controversial extremism case receive sentences ranging up to seven years in prison

Source: Meduza

On Thursday, August 6, Moscow’s Lublinsky Court announced the verdicts in the controversial “Novoe Velichie” (New Greatness) extremism case. Seven defendants were found guilty of organizing an illegal extremist group. 

In 2018, ten activists from the so-called “Novoe Velichie” (New Greatness) movement were accused of organizing an illegal extremist group. Investigators believe they were plotting to “overthrow Russia’s constitutional order,” using leaflets and Telegram chat messages. The suspects’ parents accuse the police of framing their children for crimes they didn’t commit, and sources have told reporters that an undercover police officer was embedded inside the organization. The New Greatness case trial began in June 2019.

The two women defendants in the case, Anna Pavlikova and Maria Dubovik, were sentenced to four and six years probation, respectively. Defendant Dmitry Poletaev was sentenced to six years probation and released in the courtroom (as Mediazona explains, he was being held in pretrial detention prior to the verdict). Defendant Maxim Roshchin was given six years and six months probation. 

The other three defendants in the case received prison terms: seven years in a prison colony for Ruslan Kostylenkov, six years for Vyacheslav Kryukov, and six and half years for Pyotr Karamzin.

Maria Dubovik’s lawyer, Maxim Pashkov, declared that the defense was prepared to appeal the court’s decision even before the judge had finished reading out the verdict. “We will appeal any guilty verdict,” Pashkov told Interfax

Nearly 200 people gathered outside the courthouse during the sentencing, applauding and chanting “Innocent.” 

The crowd outside of Moscow’s Lublinsky Court applauding the lawyers after the reading of the verdict
Kristina Safonova / “Meduza”

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