On Friday, the Supreme Court of Crimea sentenced Ukrainian citizen Yevhen Panov to eight years in a maximum-security penal colony for preparing acts of sabotage in Crimean in the summer of 2016, an Interfax correspondent reported from the courtroom.
“[The court rules] to impose a penalty on Yevhen Oleksandrivych Panov in the form of imprisonment for eight years in a maximum-security penal colony,” Judge Andrei Paliy read from the ruling.
The Supreme Court of Crimea will count the roughly two years which Panov has spent in custody.
The resident of Ukraine’s Zaporizhia region was found guilty of illegal possession and transport of weapons and ammunition, an attempt to smuggle weapons and ammunition, and preparing an act of sabotage by an organized group.
Panov pleaded not guilty.
He has ten days to appeal.
Panov’s lawyer Olga Dinze said the defense will do so.
Enerhodar-born Panov previously worked as a bus driver at the Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant and participated in Ukraine’s military operation in Donbas.
The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) says that on August 7-8, 2016, it thwarted several attempts by a terrorist group to commit sabotage and break through to Crimea from Ukrainian territory, leading to the deaths of a Russian serviceman and an FSB officer.
According to the FSB, Panov was an officer with the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s Main Intelligence Directorate and one of the heads of a sabotage group. He initially made a confession, but said later he did so under torture. The Ukrainian Defense Ministry denied reports of the detention of its officers in Crimea.