The Moscow City Court has reduced the sentence of 61-year-old Moscow legislator Alexey Gorinov by one month — from seven years to six years and 11 months — over charges for “spreading fake news about the Russian army”, reports Telegram channel Freedom to Alexey Gorinov.
The court changed a part of the charge that had stated “preliminary arrangement by group of persons” to simply “group of persons”, the message says.
In August, Gorinov’s lawyer Katerina Tertukhina reported that the legislator had fallen ill while placed in a pre-trial detention centre, but he was neither examined properly nor given a diagnosis. The lawyer filed a complaint about the conditions of the detention centre and failure to provide necessary medical care. According to her, Gorinov lost a lot of weight and was not able to consume food.
A Moscow district court sentenced Gorinov on 8 July. The judge Olesya Mendeleeva found Gorinov guilty of “preliminary arrangement by group of persons to spread fake information” about the Russian Armed Forces ”on grounds of hatred and hostility, through abuse of office”. Gorinov’s guilt, according to the judge, was proven by testimony of the prosecution witnesses, a video recording from the local legislature meeting, the evidence provided by forensic experts, and other materials. The reasoning of Gorinov’s defence was found “unreliable”.
The prosecutor’s theory said that Gorinov, alongside fellow legislator Yelena Kotyonochkina, had made several statements which had “contained fake information regarding Russia’s Armed Forces” during a legislature meeting on 15 March. In particular, Gorinov referred to the invasion of Ukraine as “war” rather than “a special military operation” and spoke about children killed in Ukraine. These statements, the prosecutor claimed, contradicted the Defence Ministry’s official information and helped Gorinov and Kotyonochkina “delude the public at large”.
Kotyonochkina also faced criminal charges, but she managed to leave Russia before being arrested and is now on the international wanted list.