- RiaNovosti - Translated by James Harmon
Russian President Vladimir Putin has pardoned Oksana Sevastidi, convicted of treason. She had, in the past recieved an SMS sent by a friend regarding Georgian military equipment.
A decree by Vladimir Putin posted on an official government legal website stated: "For humanitarian reasons, the decree is passed to pardon Sevastidi Oksana V., born in 1970, who was convicted March 3, 2016 at the Krasnodar Regional Court, freeing her from further serving the sentence mandated."
The decree comes into effect in five days.
In December, at a large press conference, Putin described Sevastidi's sentence as "tough enough." At the same time he stated he is not familiar with the details of the case, and promised to investigate.
The report states Russian military equipment was sent by Sevastidi to her Georgian friend in 2008, shortly before the outbreak of the conflict in South Ossetia.
Sevastidi's defense did not appeal the verdict, which subsequently resulted in a separate story about the poor-quality legal services. Then Sevastidi changed her lawyer and her appeal. Subsequently, the Supreme Court agreed to consider whether it is possible to restore the terms of appeal. The court session is scheduled for March 15.
According to the lawyer of Sevastidi, Evgeny Smirnov, the defense will not withdraw the complaint. According to him, the pardon is not an exonerating circumstance, and the defense intends to pursue an acquittal.
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