St Petersburg: Urban planning activist Denis Levkin sentenced to four years in prison

posted 17 Feb 2014, 06:40 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 17 Feb 2014, 06:41 ]
12 February 2014

Source: (info)
Judge Irina Eizhvertina of the Leninsky district court in St. Petersburg has sentenced student Denis Levkin, a defender of a warehouse at Varshavsky Railway Station, to four years imprisonment reports.

Denis Levkin was found guilty under Article 318 Section 2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (use of violence against a representative of authority) which can entail a sentence of up to ten years imprisonment.

During sentencing Judge Eizhvertina remarked that giving a suspended sentence would not achieve the purposes of punishment.

The sentence was founded on the evidence of six police officers, including the head of police in the Admiralteisky district of St Petersburg, reports.

The activist’s lawyer, Gleb Lavrentiev, called judge Eizhvertina’s decision inhumane and unjust, and described the police officers’ evidence as false.

He announced that there would be an appeal against the sentence. In the course of the trial Lavrentiev paid particular attention to the details of the identification of a person who had fought against the police.

Denis Levkin is 21 years old student in St. Petersburg. At the beginning of 2013 the activist took part in defending a warehouse at Varshavsky Railway Station, an historical monument threatened with demolition.

In January 2013 activists occupied this empty building and set up a squat there. On the evening of 4 February 2013 police officers, including riot police, began to forcibly evict the activists from the monument which they were defending.

In the course of the clash police officers, according to their statements, incurred physical injuries.

Approximately 20 activists were detained on administrative charges and Denis Levkin was charged under Article 318 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.

On 7 February the court ordered the activist be remanded in custody.

The warehouse was almost entirely demolished.

Translated by Elisabeth Wright