Four Crimeans Sentenced For Allegedly ‘Preparing Act of Terror’ After Denunciation of Witness Who Participated in Oleh Sentsov’s Case

The Southern Area Military Court (Rostov-na-Donu) sentenced four Crimeans suspected of ‘preparing an act of terror’ at one of Simferopol markets.

Andriy Kuliyevych, Mykola Lahutin, Valentyn Khoroshayev and Danylo Reshetnychenko were accused of ‘preparing a terrorist attack’ at the “Krymskyi Pryviz” market in Simferopol and ‘calling to undermine the state system of the Russian Federation.’ As stated in the court report, the occupation ‘investigation’ seems to have established that “in 2020, Kuliyevich, Lahutin and Khoroshayev, with an aim of making a blastoff in the place of mass gathering of people, were searching for potential objects, carrying out reconnaissance of anti-terrorist security systems at these objects, examining the surroundings and taking pictures, and also manufactured three explosive devices and illegally stored them at their places of residence. However, the defendants failed to complete their criminal intent due to their detention by law enforcement officers.” Lahutin, Khoroshayev, and Kuliyevich were said to “have illegally stored homemade firearms and 3 pistol cartridges at the latter’s place of residence”, as well as “distributed leaflets in public places calling for the overthrow of the Russian Federation state authorities.” All the detained pleaded not guilty and claimed that the charges were fabricated.

As GRATY media wrote, based on the case materials, the case  appeared after Aleksandr Pirogov’s official denunciation of the leaflets he had seen in Simferopol. In 2014, this Pirogov helped the FSB falsify charges against film director Oleh Sentsov. “GRATY” contacted one of the defendants in the pretrial detention center, Mykola Lahutin, so that he could tell in detail about the circumstances of the case. He claimed that all the accused were not engaged in anything illegal – they were studying and re-selling branded items through social networks. During the search, as Lahutin said, he and his family were kept in the kitchen until one of the FSB men said: “Everything is ready.” Lahutin assumes that explosives and leaflets were nested at him then. However, a panel of three judges headed by Aleksey Magomadov found all four guilty and sentenced: Mr.Kuliyevich – to 7 years and 6 months in the maximum security regime penitentiary facility, with serving the first 4 years in prison, and a fine of RUR250,000; Khoroshayev – to 7 years and 3 months in the maximum security regime penitentiary facility, with serving the first 4 years in prison, and a fine of RUR250,000; Lahutin – to 7 years in the maximum security regime penitentiary facility, with serving the first 4 years in prison, and a fine of RUR250,000; and Reshetnychenko – to 2 in the penitentiary settlement.

As the CHRG reported, on June 10, 2020, the FSB Public Relations Center announced the detention of five people suspected of planning a terrorist attack at one of the Simferopol markets, in Crimea. According to the Russian security service, the detainees had contacts “with representatives of radical Ukrainian units fighting in the southeast of Ukraine.” The cases under RF CC Article 222.1-2 (“Illegal acquisition, transfer, sale, storage, transportation, forwarding or transfer of explosive substances”); Article 205.2-1 (“Public appeals to carry out terrorist activities”); Article 30-1, Article 205-2 (“Preparation for carrying out a terrorist act”) were initiated against Andriy Kuliyevych, Mykola Lahutin, Valentyn Khoroshayev, and the case under RF CC Article 205.2-1 (“Public appeals to carry out terrorist activities”) was started against Danylo Reshetnychenko.

In August 2020, the Crimeans’ case of “preparation of a terrorist attack at the Simferopol market” and propaganda of terrorist ideology was transferred to the Southern Area Military Court in Rostov-na-Donu, where its consideration on the merits started.

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