Russian Supreme Court Approves 12-Year Jail Term For Ukraine's Suschenko Over Espionage

Russian Supreme Court Approves 12-Year Jail Term for Ukraine's Suschenko Over Espionage

Russia's Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled to authorize the decision of a lower court to sentence Ukrainian national Roman Suschenko, who was convicted of espionage, to 12 years in prison, a Sputnik correspondent reported.

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 12th September, 2018) Russia's Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled to authorize the decision of a lower court to sentence Ukrainian national Roman Suschenko, who was convicted of espionage, to 12 years in prison, a Sputnik correspondent reported.

"To leave the judgment of the Moscow city court unchanged, [to leave] the appeal unsatisfied," the court ruling said, as read out by the judges.

Before the hearing, Suschenko told reporters that he was counting on being exchanged for a Russian national imprisoned in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry expressed protest to Russia in connection with the Supreme Court's ruling.

"There were no illusions concerning the 'sentence' for journalist Suschenko.

It is an illegal and political decision. We express protest to the Russian Federation, and continue struggle," Mariana Betsa, the spokeswoman for the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, wrote on Twitter.

In turn, Suschenko's lawyer Mark Feygin said that the Ukrainian national was ready to apply for a pardon. He added that it did not mean that Suschenko pleaded guilty.

The Ukrainian national was convicted of spying on Russia's Armed Forces and National Guard. According to Ukrinform news agency, Suschenko had been its employee since 2002 and had worked as a special correspondent in France since 2010. The Ukrainian citizen was arrested in September 2016, soon after he arrived in Moscow.

Suschenko has denied the charges.

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