Lawyers Appeal Russian Nationalist Coup Plot Sentence

MOSCOW, February 18 (RIA Novosti) – Lawyers for a former Russian military intelligence officer, sentenced earlier this month to 13 years in prison on charges of plotting an armed coup, filed an appeal against the verdict on Monday.

Сolonel Vladimir Kvachkov, 64, an expert on sabotage who authored a book on the subject, was sentenced on February 11 over a plan to seize weapons from an arms depot in Kovrov, a small town in central Russia’s Vladimir Region, and use them to spark an armed revolt.

“The trial saw every violation possible,” lawyer Oksana Mikhalkina told the Rapsi legal news agency. “We will ask for the annulment of the guilty sentence.”

Kvachkov, a nationalist activist, was arrested on the coup charges in December 2010, a day after Russia’s Supreme Court had found him not guilty of a 2005 attack on Anatoly Chubais, the then head of the Unified Energy System and an architect of the 1990s privatization of state assets.

Both Kvachkov and Mikhalkina alleged after this month’s verdict that Chubais had ordered the new charges as “revenge.”

Chubais denied the claim in a blog post, but called Kvachkov a “dangerous fascist extremist who is ready to sacrifice people’s lives for his mad ideas.”

A former police official, Alexander Kiselyov, was also sentenced to 11 years for his part in the plot.


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