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Russian Court Reduces Sentence In Pokemon Go Case

Russia blogger Ruslan Sokolovsky speaks to journalists after he was given a suspended sentence in Yekaterinburg on May 11.

YEKATERINBURG, Russia -- A Russian court has reduced by more than a year a suspended sentence handed down to a blogger convicted of inciting hatred and insulting religious believers' feelings through online videos, including one showing him playing Pokemon Go in a church.

The Sverdlov Regional Court in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg ruled on July 7 that blogger Ruslan Sokolovsky's 3 1/2 year suspended sentence be cut to two years and three months.

The court annulled Sokolovsky's conviction on a charge of illegally possessing a pen with a concealed video camera.

A district court in Yekaterinburg convicted and sentenced Sokolovsky in November in a case that triggered widespread condemnation from rights activists.

Sokolovsky, 22, was arrested in September after posting a video showing him playing Pokemon Go in a Russian Orthodox church in Yekaterinburg in August during a craze for the game.

The post on Sokolovsky's YouTube channel, which had around 300,000 subscribers at the time, followed a warning on state television not to play the game at religious sites.

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