Friday, July 20, 2018

Khabarov and Kralin appeal to drop charges in coup plot trial

Two men have filed appeals to drop all charges against them after being convicted of involvement in a bizarre plot to seize power in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg.

The prosecution, meanwhile, is asking for an even harsher sentence, RIA Novosti reports.

Leonid Khabarov, a former Soviet-era colonel and decorated Soviet Afghan war veteran, and inventor Viktor Kralin were sentenced in February by a Yekaterinburg court to 4.5 years in prison each on charges of aiding terrorist activities and illegal possession of weapons.

An investigation revealed that Khabarov and Kralin had conspired with seven others to murder regional officials and blow up power lines to create panic among the population.

Six members of the group would then take control of city administration buildings, which the organizers believed would lead the Kremlin to cede power to them.

The mastermind of the plot, Alexander Yermakov, was committed to a psychiatric ward after being found to be suffering from schizophrenia, according to RIA Novosti.

Other members of the group received sentences ranging from two to six years.

Khabarov and Kralin's defense lawyers said the charges against their clients were falsified and that the prosecution had failed to provide details of the plot, RIA Novosti reports.