MOSCOW, October 4 (RAPSI) – The Moscow City Court on Friday upheld a 5-year jail sentence given to blogger Vladislav Sinitsa for online calls for violence against children of law enforcement officers, RAPSI reported from the courtroom.
The court refused to overturn the initial sentence and acquit the defendant, as was asked by him in his appeal.
In early September, Moscow’s Presnensky District Court sentenced Sinitsa to 5 years in penal colony. The defendant was found guilty of public incitement of hatred and enmity against a group of people through threats and with the use of information and telecommunication networks.
A prosecutor earlier demanded a 6-year prison sentence for the blogger, while his defense asked for a noncustodial sentence for him.
Sinitsa said his case was related to his active public position. The man did not deny he had published conflicting statements but refused to plead guilty. He insisted that all his statements were wrenched out of the context and misinterpreted by police.
According to investigators, Sinitsa distributed criminal posts on Twitter under a penname of Max Steklov. On July 31, he called people for violence against children of law enforcement officers after hard-hitting reports of an unauthorized rally held in central Moscow on July 27.
Investigators claim that the defendant tried to destroy his cell phone when being arrested.
Protest actions began in Moscow in mid-July after election commissions denied registration of certain opposition members as candidates for the Moscow City Duma elections reasoning that documents submitted by them contained numerous violations.
The first unauthorized rally took place hear the Moscow City Election Commission’s building on July 14 and looked like a provocation, according to law experts.
Unauthorized rallies in support of candidates seeking to become lawmakers of the Moscow State Duma but refused registration by the Election Commission were also held on July 27 and August 3 in central Moscow. Over 1,000 people were arrested for various violations as a result.
Following the 27 July rally, the Investigative Committee opened a criminal case over mass riots. Investigators believe that the protest action was held with the use of force against representatives of authority.
Several well-known opposition figures including Alexey Navalny, Dmitry Gudkov, Ilya Yashin were arrested and put in detention for alleged organization of an unauthorized rally.
On August 10, an authorized rally in support of unregistered election candidates took place in Moscow and gathered as many as 25,000 participants, according to the police statistics.