Crimean filmmaker pleads not guilty in terrorism trial

AP News
Posted: Jul 21, 2015 7:03 AM

MOSCOW (AP) — A Ukrainian filmmaker who has been in jail for more than a year has pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit terrorism.

Critics have dismissed Oleg Sentsov's prosecution as revenge for his pro-Ukrainian position in Russia-occupied Crimea.

The 39-year old was arrested in Crimea's capital in May 2014 after a pro-Ukrainian rally protesting Russia's annexation of Crimea in March that year.

At the opening of his trial on Tuesday Sentsov pleaded not guilty and insisted the case against him is a fabrication, Russian news agencies reported.

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The Crimean native faces up to 20 years behind bars if found guilty.

Ukraine says Sentsov is a political prisoner and should be immediately released.