By PNA / RIA Novosti and U.S. News Agency / Asian
A regional court in Smolensk sentenced Russian opposition activist Taisiya Osipova to eight years in prison on drug possession charges on Tuesday, RAPSI agency reported.
Osipova, an activist for the Other Russia party, is to serve her sentence in a low security prison colony.
State prosecutors have asked the court to jail Osipova for four years in a case that her lawyers say is politically motivated.
Her defense team said they will appeal the verdict.
Osipova, 28, was arrested in 2010 and imprisoned for 10 years late last year after police found four grams of heroin at her home in the west Russian city of Smolensk. Osipova said the drugs were planted on her by officers after she refused to provide them with information on her husband, Sergei Fomchenkov, an activist with the unregistered Other Russia opposition party.
Osipova is the mother of a five-year-old child and suffers from diabetes. Her sentence was overturned on appeal in February after then President Dmitry Medvedev called it “overly harsh,” and called for a new probe. The court refused, however, to free Osipova on bail.
Osipova has been politically active since the early 2000s, when she was a member of radical writer and politician Eduard Limonov’s now-outlawed National Bolshevik Party. Limonov is now head of the Other Russia party.
Osipova received a boost in her bid for freedom earlier this week when the court ruled to consider a statement by a witness that the drugs were planted on her. Witness Anton Mandrik’s evidence was allowed after he passed a lie-detector test. He told the court he had received threats from police not to testify.