Ukrinform journalist Roman Sushchenko, who was released as a result of a Ukraine-Russia prisoner swap on September 7, has been banned from entering Russia for 20 years.
The journalist was informed about a pardon and a ban on entering the Russian Federation at the Lefortovo detention center in Moscow, Sushchenko’s defense lawyer Mark Feygin told Ukrinform.
“Speaking about the legal side of the case, Sushchenko was pardoned and banned from entering the Russian Federation for 20 years. He was told about it in a pretrial detention center. However, as far as I know, a [presidential] decree was not published anywhere. It might be secret,” Feygin said.
Sushchenko was detained in violation of international rules on September 30, 2016 in Moscow, where he arrived on a private trip from Paris. On October 7, 2016, he was charged with espionage.
On June 4, 2018, the Moscow City Court sentenced Sushchenko to 12 years in a high-security penal colony. On September 12, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation called this decision legal.
Russia and Ukraine exchanged detainees in the 35-for-35 format on September 7. Those who returned to Ukraine include Oleg Sentsov, Roman Sushchenko, Oleksandr Kolchenko, Pavlo Hryb, Volodymyr Balukh, and others.
Sushchenko has already stated that he will continue to work at his “native Ukrinform.”
Sushchenko’s case became Feygin’s last case. During the trial, he was deprived of his status as a lawyer in Russia. Feygin appealed the decision at the European Court of Human Rights and is waiting for a court ruling.
(C) UKRINFORM 2019