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Vyshynsky's lawyer says he might be exchanged for Sushchenko

The Moscow city court put Roman Sushchenko behind the bars for 12 years today
19:50, 4 June 2018

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Andriy Domansky, the lawyer of Kyrylo Vyshynsky , the Chief Editor of RIA News, does not exclude that he can be exchanged for the Ukrainian journalist Roman Sushchenko, which was sentenced to 12 years in a high-security prison for espionage in Moscow today. The lawyer informed Interfax Ukraine about it.

“We do not exclude it. Kyrylo Vyshynsky made a relevant statement on Friday, he realizes that he is an “object” of the exchange, that it was a special operation prepared for a particular moment. It is clear for us. Kyrylo decided to withdraw from Ukrainian citizenship from this perspective,” he said.

Besides, the lawyer stated that today they have sent a letter to Ukraine’s President Administration about Vyshenky’s withdrawal from Ukrainian citizenship.

Related: Vyshynsky Case: RIA News editor-in-chief's place robbed

“And we would like to record its sending to the President’s Administration manually. We would not like it to “get lost” somewhere. Besides, I will remind you, Kyrylo Vyshynsky has made an official statement about his withdrawal from Ukrainian citizenship at the court session and mass media made it public,” the lawyer stated.

As we reported the workers of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and the Prosecutor's Office of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea has exposed the network of the media entities controlled by the Russian Federation. The law enforcement bodies held the investigative actions at the office of RIA News-Ukraine.

Related: Russia's Foreign Ministry promises legal aid to RIA News editor-in-chief

On May 15, the SBU considered the detention of the head of RIA News Ukraine agency’s office.

Kremlin has already responded to the incident and called the actions of the SBU outrageous. Also, Russia promised to assume reciprocal measures. Then, the state sent a protest note over searches at the mass media office.

Later it was reported that the actions of Vyshynsky were preliminarily qualified as the state treason. The same day the SBU reported that Kyrylo Vyshynsky is now officially suspected of state treason.

The Moscow city court put Roman Sushchenko behind the bars for 12 years. The jury granted the motion of the prosecution and sentenced the Ukrainian for the alleged ‘espionage in favor of Ukraine’s Defence Ministry’. 

Related: Sushchenko's sentence is an “unprecedented show of cynicism”, - Poroshenko

The case against Sushchenko was carried out in camera, so the court announced only the preface and the conclusions of the sentence.

Roman Sushchenko was detained in Moscow in September 2016, when he arrived in Russia for a private visit. Russia’s federal security service accused him of spying, while being on an undercover mission for Ukraine’s military intelligence. The Ukrainian side denied this, calling Russia’s actions another politically motivated provocation. Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry demands to release Sushchenko and the rest of Ukrainian political prisoners, illegally held in detention in Russia.

Related: OSCE files letter to Russia's Foreign Ministry with urge to release Sentsov

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