Information Policy Ministry condemns Russian Supreme Court decision in Sushchenko case
The Ukrainian Information Policy Ministry strongly condemns the decision by the Russian Supreme Court to uphold the sentence handed down to Ukrainian journalist Roman Sushchenko, who was sentenced to 12 years in a high-security colony for espionage.
"It is hard to expect a fair decision from a higher court in a state that has long ago forgotten what truth, freedom and respect for human rights are. It must be understood that every such decision against Ukrainian political prisoners is another nail in the coffin of a criminal regime that now reigns in the Kremlin," the ministry's press service quoted Information Policy Minister Yuriy Stets as saying on Wednesday.
The minister also said that he very much relies on the support of the international community in the issue of the release of Ukrainian political prisoners.
Sushchenko was arrested in October 2016 on charges of espionage (Article 276 of the Criminal Code of Russia) and was remanded in custody under a ruling by Moscow's Lefortovo district court.
Lawyer Mark Feygin said that Sushchenko, who lived in France for over six years while being a Paris correspondent of the Ukrinform news agency paid numerous visits to Russia and during his detention was on a personal business in Russia, where his relatives live.
On July 4, the Moscow City Court sentenced Sushchenko to 12 years in a high-security penitentiary. The court hearings were held behind closed doors as the case was "classified." Sushchenko did not admit his guilt.
On September 12, the Russian Supreme Court upheld the sentence handed down to Ukrainian journalist Roman Sushchenko, who was sentenced to 12 years in a high-security colony for espionage.
"The sentence handed down by the Moscow City Court on July 4, 2018 is upheld. The appeals are declined," the Supreme Court appellate collegium said in its decision.
Thus, the sentence has taken legal effect and is subject to enforcement.