Leader of nationalist organization gets four months for a pistol


A court in the Ivano-Frankivsk region has sentenced the leader of the nationalist organization VO “Tryzub”, Andriy Stempitsky to four months imprisonment.  Mr Stempitsky, who was arrested in January, was convicted of unlawful possession and carrying of firearms. According to reports, when his car was stopped a Zoraki pistol was found.

The media quote his lawyer as saying that his client had obtained the weapon to defend himself “since there had been threats against his family. He didn’t know that this was a firearm which carries criminal liability. He thought in fact that it was a pistol with gas bullets”.

The sentence can be appealed within 15 days.

The Tryzub website calls the verdict “reprisal against a Ukrainian nationalist”. A statement on the site asserts that following his arrest, they tried to accuse Mr Stempitsky of various crimes including terrorism and an attempt against President Yanukovych.

After his arrest, the Head of the Ivano-Frankivsk region thanked the police for detained armed people and said that as a result of these events the route taken by President Yanukovych who was then in the region had been changed.

According to Tryzub, the police are presently holding in custody 15 members of the organization, including several detained in the Zaporizhya SIZO [remand unit] on charges of damaging the statue of Stalin which they deny.

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