In the Kaliningrad region, the court ruled to pay 150 thousand rubles of compensation to Nikolai Sentsov, convicted in the case of the group of monarchists BARS. He spent several years in a solitary confinement cell, after which he was released, told the project “Sever.Realii” lawyer Sentsova Maria Bonzler. “The Central District Court gave him 150 thousand for two and a half years of“ extra ”imprisonment, although we asked for six million. All this time he was in solitary confinement and suffered a stroke, ”she explained.
According to the defender, during the proceedings it was proved that Sentsov was not a member of BARS. He was only interested in history and assembled models of weapons. On this basis, the man met the members of the group, and this was enough to arrest Sentsov. “During the search, they planted a grenade without a pin and some kind of cartridge on him. He also had several cartridges that someone had given him for safekeeping. As a result, he was accused of possession of ammunition and explosives, but was released in the courtroom, ”the lawyer explained.
Bonzler considers the amount of compensation scanty. “But this is the practice. Recently in the Tver region a person also spent three years in prison, he was acquitted and also given 150 thousand, ”she said. The lawyer will appeal the judgment in high instances, up to the ECHR.
The BARS group (“Baltic avant-garde of Russian resistance”) is a Kaliningrad movement of monarchists and followers of the Russian Orthodox Church abroad. Members of the group called themselves Russian nationalists and carried out peaceful actions in the region against corruption and in support of political prisoners. They also advocated the return of the historical name of Königsberg to Kaliningrad and the restoration of the German Royal Castle.
In the fall of 2017, the head of the group, Alexander Orshulevich, and the participants Igor Ivanov, and the ROCOR priest Alexander Mamaev, as well as Nikolai Sentsov, were arrested on charges of creating and participating in a terrorist community. According to the investigation, the accused were going to seize power in the region and annex the Kaliningrad region to the European Union. They also allegedly called for the assassination of Vladimir Putin.
In order to achieve their goals, according to the investigation, the accused were going to apply extremist inscriptions with the help of stencils. The defense argued that not only ammunition, but these stencils were planted during the searches, reported OVD-Info.
Alexander Orshulevich stated that during the search they put a plastic bag on his head and used violence against him. In the pre-trial detention center, Orshulevich has resumed epileptic seizures. In addition, two cysts were found in his cerebral cortex. “The client is being held in torture conditions”, – spoke the publication “North-West. MBH Media ”Maria Bonzler.
The prosecutor’s office did not agree with the findings of the FSB. As a result, the charge was re-qualified from terrorism to extremism. All the time before the trial, the accused were in solitary confinement. The Human Rights Center “Memorial” recognized the members of BARS as political prisoners.
In April 2020, the 2nd Western District Military Court sentenced Orshulevich to eight years in prison, Ivanov and Mamaev received six years each. Nikolai Sentsov was sentenced to three years of imprisonment in a penal colony, but was released in the courtroom, since he had served this term in an isolation ward.