Ukrainians Karpiuk, Klykh convicted in Chechnya to appeal verdict - Defence

Ukrainians Karpiuk, Klykh convicted in Chechnya to appeal verdict - DefenceThe defense lawyer for the Ukrainians Mykola Karpiuk and Stanislav Klykh, who were given 22.5- and 20-year prison sentences in a case over their involvement, as part of the Ukrainian National Assembly-Ukrainian People's Self-Defense (a Ukrainian nationalist organization banned in Russia), in hostilities against federal authorities during the first Chechen campaign, is planning to appeal the verdict, lawyer Ilya Novikov said.

"Unless I receive guarantees that the interests of my client are protected otherwise, as was the case with Nadia Savchenko, I am going to take all of the necessary steps in his defense. The first such step will be to file an appeal and then a complaint to the European court," Novikov told Interfax.

In the case of the Ukrainian military servicewoman Savchenko, who returned to her home country a day earlier as a result of an exchange for two Russians, her handover by Russia was guaranteed from the start, which is why her defense lawyers did not appeal the verdict, and it took effect after ten days, the lawyer said. "Whereas in this particular instance, Ukraine has already declared its position, but we need to wait for what Moscow says, so far there are no guarantees," the lawyer said.

The defense team took the verdict calmly, though it was somewhat surprised by the judge not only not cutting the prison term for Karpiuk in comparison to what the prosecution asked for, but even increasing it. "One of the clauses of the indictment was removed on account of the statute of limitations, but the court, on the contrary, even increased the penalty: the prosecution asked for five years in prison, but the judge gave ten years in prison out of the 22 and a half," Novikov told reporters.

"We will provide maximum assistance to the Ukrainian authorities so they pursue their own line. President Poroshenko already stated that he will not leave this case without attention, and will provide maximum support," he said.

It was reported that, on Thursday, the Chechen Supreme Court sentenced Karpiuk and Klykh to 22.5 and 20 years of imprisonment, respectively. Under the verdict, Karpiuk will spend the first ten years in prison, Klykh the first nine years, with the remainders to be served by both at a high-security penal institution.
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