Odesa Court of Appeal has released Serhiy Sternenko and Ruslan Demchuk from custody and placed them under round-the-clock house arrest, according to Sternenko's Telegram channel.
Earlier it was reported that four MPs from the parties Servant of the People, Voice and European Solidarity were ready to take Sternenko on bail, and also provided a lease agreement for stay in Odesa if the measure of restraint were to be changed.
At the beginning of the hearing, Sternenko and Demchuk were allowed to be released from the cage so that they could effectively participate in the court hearing. Activists today did not hold traditional rallies in support of Sternenko and Demchuk, so as not to be accused of pressuring justice.
On February 23, the Prymorskyi District Court, chaired by Judge Viktor Poprevych, found Sternenko and Demchuk guilty of kidnapping Serhiy Shcherbych, a resident of the Lyman district, robbery, and illegal possession of firearms (Articles 246, 187, and 263 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine). The court sentenced Sternenko and Demchuk to seven years and three months in prison with confiscation of half of their property.
Prior to the appeal, they were remanded in custody.
On March 26, Sternenko's and Demchuk's lawyers filed appeals against the sentences.
Sternenko denies involvement in the abduction and insists on the political motivation of the case.