Anti-Corruption Foundation employee handed two-year prison sentence over ‘extremist’ tweets
A Moscow court has sentenced Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) employee Pavel Zelensky to two years in prison for inciting extremism, his lawyer Svetlana Bayturina told Mediazona on Friday, April 16.
State prosecutors had sought a two-and-a-half-year prison sentence.
Pavel Zelensky, who works as a camera operator for Alexey Navalny’s FBK, was arrested on January 15, 2021. He was remanded in custody on charges of inciting extremism over two posts he wrote on Twitter about about the death of Irina Slavina, a Russian journalist who died by suicide in October of last year.
Zelensky pleaded guilty to the extremism charges in February and declined a lawyer from the human rights group Agora. FBK director Ivan Zhdanov suggested that Zelensky was coming under pressure in pre-trial detention. However, Zelensky’s wife explained that her husband pleaded guilty in an attempt to ease his sentence after learning that his mother had contracted the coronavirus.