Court sends environmentalist Yevgeny Vitishko to penal colony

posted 23 Dec 2013, 08:39 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 23 Dec 2013, 08:40 ]
20 December 2013

Source: (info)
On 20 December Judge Igor Milunchik, sitting in Tuapse city court, granted an appeal by the prison inspectorate to replace the suspended sentence earlier handed down to environmental activist Yevgeny Vitishko with a real prison term.

From the courtroom the news was reported by Aleksandr Popkov, a lawyer from Agora Human Rights Association acting on behalf of Yevgeny Vitishko.

On 20 July 2012, Tuapse city court convicted activists Suren Ghazaryan and Yevgeny Vitishko from Environmental Watch North Caucasus, in a case which has been dubbed by bloggers ‘damaging the fence of “Tkachev’s dacha” ’.

The two young people, who asserted their innocence did not plead guilty at the time of the investigation or trial, were given suspended sentences of three years in prison, with a probation period of two years. On 8 August 2012, the criminal appeal division at Krasnodar Regional Court reviewed the appeal of Ghazaryan and Visitshko, but upheld the conviction.

In August, new charges were brought against Ghazaryan, allegedly for making death threats to the guards of the so-called «Putin’s dacha», after which he left the country and received political asylum in Estonia.

The Russian Supreme Court found the appeal of the environmentalists justified and decided to institute a review procedure in the Presidium of the Krasnodar Regional Court. On 18 December 2013, the Presidium of the Krasnodar Regional Court dismissed the appeals of Ghazaryan and Vitishko.

At the same time, the prison inspectorate requested the replacement of the remainder of the suspended sentence handed down to Yevgeny Vitishko by a real prison term. The Federal Penitentiary Service had reported that the environmentalist had spent one night in another city and did not return home to Tuapse before 11pm.

Translated by Eva Cukier