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Far-right activist Sternenko gets seven years and three months behind the bars. What for?

Source : 112 Ukraine

The man is considered gulity of kidnapping an MP and illegal storage of a weapon
15:55, 23 February 2021

Sternenko
Serhiy Sternenko Facebook

Serhiy Sternenko is considered guilty in kidnapping and illegal storage of a weapon. Prymorsky court in Odesa sentenced the leader of local cell of the Right Sector far-right organization to seven years and three months.

The court also ruled that half of Sternenko's property would be confiscated. The defendant was taken into custody; as of Tuesday afternoon, he is at the remand centre in Odesa.

The charge papers include three accusations - robbery-related assault, illegal storage of a weapon, and the act of kidnapping. The court ruled that Sternenko was involved in the kidnapping of Serhiy Shcherbych, the MP of a district authority in Odesa region. 

It took the court five years to look into the case and make the verdict.

Shcherbych was the head of district branch of Rodina (Fatherland) party in Odesa. Later, the official joined the Trust the Deeds party run by Odesa mayor Hennadiy Trukhanov.

The accusations were based on Shcherbych's appeal, as he stated that Sternenko and his fellow from the Right Sector Ruslan Demchuk were his kidnappers.

According to prosecution, the charges were also confirmed by phone billings and witness's testimony.

The prosecution claimed that the attackers tried to steal Shcherbych's financial assets, his credit card and a telephone. Earlier, Sternenko said he was charged with the act of kidnapping "so as to steal the money in teh amount of 300 hryvnyas".

Related: Seven years in prison: Odesa court sentenced far-right Sternenko for kidnapping politician

As for the charges with illegal storage of a weapon, Sternenko claimed that he willingly handed a collection knife and a starter gun over to the police in 2015. At that, he specified that according to the gun expertise, it was a starter gun. And then, it appeared that an Interior Ministry's expert who ran the procedure took the plug from the gun's barrel and this, he was able to fire rubber bullets from it. Sternenko summed up, saying that "the expert turned the starter gun ito a rubber-bullet handgun; however, he himself pointed out that it became a firearm".

Sternenko believes that the charges against him were trumped up.

Besides, the activist is also charged with excessive self-defense, which resulted in death of a person. Sternenko was attacked by a group of people in May 2018. He managed to repel the attackers, inflicting a knife wound to one of them, Ivan Kuznetsov. Eventually, the latter deceased. 

Related: Clashes with police broke out at court which was hearing Sternenko's case

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