Activist Taisiya Osipova's prison sentence is called 'terrifying revenge'


A Russian opposition activist was jailed for to eight years yesterday in a review of her drug-related case, twice as long as prosecutors had requested.

Taisiya Osipova and her supporters have maintained that police planted four grams of heroin in her home in 2010 in revenge for her refusal to testify against her husband, Sergei Fomchenkov, also a senior figure in the Other Russia opposition movement. A witness for the defence testified at the trial that he saw a police officer put the drugs in Ms Osipova's apartment.

Ms Osipova had originally been sentenced to 10 years, but a higher court ordered a review of her case.

Yesterday's verdict comes two weeks after three members of punk band Pussy Riot were jailed for two years for an anti-Vladimir Putin performance in Moscow's main cathedral.

Eduard Limonov, the leader of the Other Russia party, told the Interfax news agency that the Osipova verdict "is not only a political one, it's also terrifying revenge".

Ms Osipova, 28, was originally sentenced to 10 years' prison in December last year. A higher court in February overturned that decision, ordering the review of her case, while Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said the sentence was too harsh. Left-wing opposition leader Sergei Udaltsov described the verdict as "a triumph of lawlessness and cynicism".