Russian citizens get short prison terms for wandering into NATO exercise

The two Russian citizens who illegally entered the Adazi military base in the summer of 2015 while the Saber Strike exercise was taking place have been given short prison sentences, which they had already served, and their accomplice Vladimirs Lindermans has been acquitted by a Riga district court that heard the case.

Imma Jansone, the legal representative of the two Russians – Alexander Kurkin and Andrei Popko – told LETA that her clients were sentenced to three months and 27 days in prison, which is the term they had already spent behind bars after their being held for trespassing at the military base.

Both Kurkin and Popko are also banned from entering Latvia for several years.

Meanwhile, their accomplice Lindermans, a notorious radical pro-Russia activist, was cleared of the hooliganism charges.

Although her clients are not facing any further sanctions, Jansone is going to appeal the court verdict before Riga Regional Court because of some “legal details and collisions” on which she did not elaborate.

The district court heard the criminal case behind closed doors.

As reported, a district court in Riga in August 2016 began hearing the criminal case against Russian citizens Alexander Kurkin and Andrei Popko for trespassing at the National Armed Forces' Adazi military base in the summer of 2015. The defendants were tried in absentia.

The Security Police earlier concluded that the two citizens of Russia had illegally entered Adazi military base in June 2015. Evidence in the criminal process shows that they were assisted by a citizen of Latvia.

Kurkin and Popko used a ladder to get across a section of the fence surrounding Adazi military base, but soon after were detained by security guards who had spotted them. Successor to the National Bolshevik Party - the Drugaya Rossiya party, announced later that it was responsible for the antics.

The two had English-language leaflets with them, and snapshots where the two were seen on the fence holding a large Georgiy ribbon-colored flag. Apparently the two had intended a demonstration of some sort, or at least, to hand out the leaflets.

The Saber Strike international military exercises were taking place at the Adazi military base at the time. 

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