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Russia refuses to extradite filmmaker Oleg Sentsov to Ukraine

By
Ed Adamczyk
Russia rejected Ukraine's request to extradite filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, currently serving a 20-year prison term in Russia after conviction on terrorism charges. Photo by Andonymon/Wikimedia
Russia rejected Ukraine's request to extradite filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, currently serving a 20-year prison term in Russia after conviction on terrorism charges. Photo by Andonymon/Wikimedia

KIEV, Ukraine, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- Russia refused Friday to extradite filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, sentenced to 20 years for terrorism, to Ukraine to finish his prison term.

Sentsov, 40, was found guilty in court in Rostov, Russia, in 2015 of establishing a terrorist cell in Crimea and plotting terrorist attacks. The year before, his group set fire to the offices of Crimea's Russian Community organization, and a regional office of United Russia, the political party of President Vladimir Putin. A plot to blow up a monument to communist icon Vladimir Lenin was discovered but not carried out.

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Sentsov is regarded as a citizen of both Russia and Ukraine, and the Ukrainian government was rebuffed in its request for his extradition so he could serve his term in Ukraine.

"Since Russia and Ukraine have not signed the international agreement regulating double citizenship issues and as Oleg Sentsov is a Russian citizen, this convict's extradition to Ukraine is impossible under the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons of 1983," Russia's Justice Ministry said in a statement posted Friday on the Facebook page of Sergei Petukhov, Ukraine's deputy justice minister for European integration.

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Sentsov, whose first feature film, Gamer, debuted at the 2011 Rotterdam International Film Festival, is currently serving his sentence in Yakutsk in eastern Siberia.

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