Trepashkin Sentenced To Four Years In Prison

Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 5 Issue: 21

Mikhail Trepashkin, the dissident ex-FSB lawyer who tried to investigate his former employer’s links to the 1999 apartment bombings that gave Vladimir Putin his justification for the second Chechen war, received a four-year prison sentence on May 19 for revealing state secrets and for illegally carrying a pistol in his car (see Chechnya Weekly, March 10).

In an article published in Novaya Gazeta on May 24, Roman Shleinov noted that the allegedly “secret” documents found in Trepashkin’s home were “mostly dusty collections of Marxist-Leninist writings.” An experiment by official investigators showed that the pistol allegedly confiscated from under the seat of his car could not have been squeezed into that space, Shleinov reported.

Alex Rodriguez reported in the Chicago Tribune on May 17 that he asked the FSB for an interview about the Trepashkin case, but the agency “requested that questions be submitted in writing, then did not respond to those questions.” “A spokesman for the Russian prosecutor general’s office declined to comment on the Trepashkin case,” Rodriguez reported.

The prominent human-rights advocate Lev Ponomarev called Trepashkin “a political prisoner, beyond any doubt.”