Political activists from Pskov were sentenced to 11 and 10.6 years in a drug case

The Pskov District Court announced the verdicts to the married couple Lia and Artem Milushkin, who were opposition activists: Lia headed the Pskov Open Russia, Artem regularly participated in protests and organized some actions. Both were charged with several episodes of drug trafficking, Artem was also accused of organizing arson. The court based only on the testimony of two drug addicted citizens.

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Artem and Lia Milushkin were detained in January 2019 in their own home. The special forces knocked out the windows and, in addition to the spouses, twisted their eldest son (he was 10 years old at that time). During the search, boxes from kinder-surprises were found (moreover, exactly in the place where the special forces penetrated), in which there were supposedly traces of some powder, recognized by the examination as amphetamine.

There were no fingerprints, and the washing of their hands showed nothing. A few months earlier, Artyom Milushkin said that he was being followed, and when he was arrested before the agreed rally “Against Police Arbitrariness” on November 4, 2018, he said that the police threatened to plant drugs on him.

For the first five months, the arguments of the investigation were based on the testimony of secret witnesses “Denis” and “Olya”, they allegedly carried out control purchases of drugs from the spouses. But the videos from these purchases are not clear, they do not capture the process of transfer of any substances, and no words are heard (in the case of Artem Milushkin, the video is completely a gray square).

After five months of the investigation, the witnesses were declassified. One of them turned out to be Stanislav Pavlov, who had previously been convicted of drug possession. He said that Artyom Milushkin sold him substances, and also offered to work off the debts by arson, which they carried out with another accused Denis Trukhan.

Both spouses call their affairs political and do not admit guilt. The defense intends to appeal the sentences.

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Lia and Artem Milushkin

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