Opposition activist Osipova gets eight years in prison

The Smolensk Zadneprovsky District Court has sentenced Other Russia activist Taisiya Osipova to eight years in prison, an Interfax correspondent has reported.

The state prosecutor has sought four years in prison for Osipova.

Defense attorneys for The Other Russian coalition activist Taisia Osipova will appeal the sentence handed down to their client. "Osipova's defense team will appeal the verdict with a higher-up court," Dmitry Kolbasin, a representative of the Agora rights organization, wrote in his Twitter blog.

Three of the five counts of crime opposition activist Taisiya Osipova was initially charged with were removed from the criminal case and the other two were reclassified as milder counts of crime, Sergei Fomchenkov, Osipova's husband and an activist of the movement Other Russia, said. "The court in effect admitted the planting of the drugs, removing that count of crime from the criminal case," he said in his blog.

The chairman of the Presidential Human Rights Council, Mikhail Fedotov, said the sentence, handed down to Taisia Osipova, was a judicial error. "I hope the appeals board will correct it," Fedotov told Interfax on Tuesday.

Left Front leader Sergei Udaltsov, who had arrived in Smolensk to support Osipova, told Interfax that he finds the sentence "horrible and unfair." "The prosecutor had asked for four years in prison, and the court gave her eight. And that's on a fully fabricated case," he said.

Osipova was arrested in Smolensk on suspicion of drug dealing on November 25, 2010. The woman's defense lawyers and the movement Other Russia insisted that she was framed to put pressure on her husband Sergei Fomchenkov, a member of the movement's executive committee. They also insisted that the witnesses submit to polygraph tests, saying the drugs were planted on her.

On December 29, the Zadneprovsky District Court sentenced Osipova to ten years in a penal colony. On February 15, 2012, the Smolensk region's court reserved the sentence and ordered a new trial.

On March 5, 2012, Dmitry Medvedev, who was then president of Russia, asked the Prosecutor General's Office to analyze the legality of the conviction of some citizens. There were 32 people on the list, including Osipova.

The rights community considers Osipova a political prisoner.

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