Balukh sentenced to three years and seven months in prison for Ukraine's flag in Crimea

Balukh sentenced to three years and seven months in prison for Ukraine's flag in Crimea

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Ukrinform
Kremlin-controlled Rozdolne District Court in Crimea has sentenced Ukrainian activist Volodymyr Balukh, accused of storing ammunition, to three years and seven months of imprisonment and to a fine of 10 non-taxable minimum incomes, the Crimea.Realities media outlet has reported. 

A Russian prosecutor asked the court to sentence Balukh to five years and one month of imprisonment in a low-security penal colony and oblige him to pay a fine of 20 non-taxable minimum incomes (UAH 9,200).

The report notes that Balukh arrived for a court session with his things that he might need at a detention center, in the event of a respective court decision.

Balukh said in his final speech at a court hearing on January 15 that the case against him was trumped up in connection with his political position and that this would not force him to love "a new homeland."

Russia's FSB detained Balukh on December 8, 2016, stating that he possessed ammunition. 

In August 2017, the court sentenced him to three years and seven months of imprisonment in a low-security penal colony, as well as to a fine of ten non-taxable minimum incomes. Balukh's verdict was canceled during the consideration of the appeal. The case was sent for reconsideration. 

On December 1, the measure of restraint for the Ukrainian activist was changed to two-month house arrest. 

Balukh's defense team believes that he became a victim of repression for his pro-Ukrainian views - due to the flag of Ukraine in the yard of his house. 

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