A regional court in the Russian city of Saratov sentenced Eduard Limonov (his real name is Eduard Savenko), the leader of the National Bolshevik party, to four years of imprisonment. The court brought in a verdict of guilty against Limonov in accordance with the clause 222 of the Russian Federation Criminal Code providing for criminal responsibility for illegal purchase, storage and transportation of guns and ammunition.
Another leader of the National Bolshevik party, the founder of the Limonka newspaper, Sergey Aksenov was also implicated in the case. The man was sentenced to 3.5 years of imprisonment as well. Four activists of the party had bought six Kalashnikov gun and gun ammunition; the men were also on trial. The party activists Dmitry Karyagin and Vladimir Pentelyuk were sentenced to 2.5 years in prison each; Nina Silina was sentenced to 2 years and 4 months of imprisonment. The third activist Oleg Laletin will spend 2 years and 3 months in prison. The four members of the National Bolshevik party from different regional departments of the party were found guilty of illegal purchase, storage and transportation of guns and ammunition.
The accused got sentences that were "lower than the lowest limit" provided by the Criminal Code clauses for which they were indicted. At that, the court noted that "it is unlikely that grave consequences might follow in connection with the criminal violations, as the legal activity of the accused had been controlled by law enforcement authorities long before the detention." The court mentioned this fact among the exceptional circumstances.
As the sentence says, Dmitry Karyagin, Vladimir Pentelyuk, Nina Silina and Oleg Laletin (young people of 26-29) bought 6 Kalashnikov guns and ammunition by instructions of Eduard Limonov and Sergey Aksenov. In March 2001 the people were detained near the Bashkir city of Ufa and in Saratov. At the same time, on Tuesday the court relieved Limonov and Aksenov of majority of the charges. The indictment in connection with the clause 280 of the RF Criminal Code providing for punishment for an attempt to overthrow the state regime was also exculpated.
It is also reported that although Limonov and Aksenov had been earlier charged with preparation for terrorism (clause 205 of the Criminal Code) and with attempting to form illegal armed groups (clause 208 of the Criminal Code), the court failed to confirm the charges.
Aksenov and Limonov were relieved of the guilt for purchase of explosives. The court classifies the doings of the accused as a crime committed together with an organized group which is provided by the clause 222 of the RF Criminal Code.
Judge Vladimir Matrosov commented upon the fact that Limonov and Aksenov were relieved of the guilt for an attempt to overthrow the state regime. He said that the men's guilt wasn't proved, as the people hadn't called for overthrowing the authority openly; all materials where the subject was discussed were circulated secretly.
As the court stated, the investigation based the charges on the National Bolshevik Party's project on creation of another Russia that had been published in a close bulletin of the party. The project provided for creation of a national Bolshevik army which the investigation considered to be an illegal armed formation.
Meanwhile, the court says that the prosecution overestimated the importance of the party's bulletins. As is reported, the prosecutor declined the charges brought against Limonov and Aksenov in connection with production and circulation of the bulletin where the project on creation of another Russia had been published.
The court says that the very fact of weapon purchase doesn't prove that people are going to organize acts of terrorism, which, as the investigation says, the National Bolshevik party was going to organize on the territory of the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan. The charge sounded unconvincing, as the investigation didn't specify "where, when and how the terrorist acts were planned to be committed", the verdict of the court says.
Picture: Eduard Limonov