A jailed former Russian intelligence officer's conviction for incitement of hatred has been annulled after the extremism article in the Criminal Code was partially decriminalized.
A court in the Russian region of Mordovia said on February 7 that the motion by Vladimir Kvachkov's lawyer to cancel the conviction due to the amendment to the extremism-related article in the Criminal Code had been satisfied.
Lawyer Andrei Vikanov told the Mediazona news portal that his client will be most likely released on February 19.
In late December, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law that removed the possibility of a prison sentence for first-time offenders found to have incited ethnic, religious, and other forms of hatred and discord in public, including in the media or on the Internet.
Kvachkov was initially arrested in December 2010 and sentenced to 13 years in prison in 2013 after a court in Moscow found him guilty of creating a terrorist group and plotting to overthrow the government. The term was later cut to eight years.
In August 2017, Kvachkov was found guilty of inciting hatred and handed down an additional two years in prison in August 2017.
The additional conviction stemmed from a video in which Kvachkov was calling for the government to be toppled and which was smuggled out of the prison.
Earlier in 2005, Kvachkov was arrested for allegedly planning to murder former Deputy Prime Minister Anatoly Chubais. He was acquitted on that charge twice, in 2008 and 2010.