Today the court in Gomel sentenced Leonid Kovalev to six years in a maximum-security colony, Dmitry Korneev – to eight years in a maximum-security colony, while Nikita Zolotarev will spend five years in an penal colony as a minor.
Recall that 29-year-old Leonid Kovalev, 16-year-old Nikita Zolotarev and 26-year-old Dmitry Korneev were accused of making explosives, violence or the threat of using violence against a police officer, and participation in mass riots. Kovalev was also accused of involving a minor in the commission of a crime.
According to the preliminary investigation, Kovalev made two “Molotov cocktails”, took them to the city centre and hid them in one of the courtyards. On the evening of 10 August, he allegedly arrived in the area of the protest rallies, where he found the executors of his plan. It was 26-year-old Korneev and 16-year-old Zolotarev.
The man gave his new acquaintances “Molotov cocktails” so that they set fire to the wall of a house, and then began to persuade them to take more radical actions – to set fire to a city bus or paddy wagon. On their way, young people met servicemen and threw “cocktails” in their direction. A glass bottle smashed on the ground near them.
Later, the prosecutor, in the debate, requalified the charge against Kovalev from Part 1 of Art. 293 of the Criminal Code “Organization of mass riots” to Part 1 of Art. 13 and part 2 of Art. 293 of the Criminal Code “Preparation for participation in mass riots”. In relation to Korneev and Zolotarev, the charge was changed too – from participation in mass riots to preparation for participation in mass riots.
Kovalev and Zolotarev pleaded not guilty. Korneev partially admitted his guilt. In his testimony, Kovalev claimed that it was Korneev and Zolotarev who had the bottles. Dmitry Korneev, on the other hand, told the court that Kovalev made him and Zolotarev set fire and throw the bottles. First 16-year-old Zolotarev refused to testify but then said that it was Korneev who made him throw the bottle.
Nikita Zolotarev has epilepsy. During one of the courtroom examinations, he felt bad and was taken by ambulance. But from the intensive care unit, he was again returned to a temporary detention centre. The boy’s father told reporters that his son was daily beaten there. The lawyer filed a complaint, but the authorities did not find corpus delicti, “due to lack of any bodily injuries on the victim”. At the trial, Nikita said that he was not given medication during one of his fits, ‘The guard told me: ‘You are a political [prisoner – Ed.], you will croak here’.
After the verdict was announced, Nikita got hysterical. Being in a cage, he threw himself on the bars and shouted: “Let me out of here!”