This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.
A military court in St. Petersburg on January 25 sentenced Darya Trepova to 27 years in prison after finding her guilty of killing prominent pro-Kremlin blogger Vladlen Tatarsky, a fervent proponent of Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Prosecutors had asked the Second Western District Military Court for a sentence of 28 years in prison and a fine of 800,000 rubles ($9,000) on charges of terrorism and forgery.
Trepova, who pleaded not guilty to the terrorism charge and entered a guilty plea to the charge of document forgery, was arrested after an explosion in a restaurant in St. Petersburg on April 2 killed Tatarsky, whose real name was Maksim Fomin. The blast also wounded 52 people.
Tatarsky was talking to people who had previously attended a meeting with him when a woman presented him with a box containing a small bust of him that blew up, killing him, according th Russian media reports.
Trepova, 26, admitted giving Tatarsky the box, but said at the trial that she did not know that there was an explosive device inside.
Trepova’s co-defendant, Dmitry Kasintsev, in whose apartment Trepova was detained, was sentenced to one year and nine months in prison.
Kasintsev pleaded guilty to the charge of failure to report a crime, but rejected the charge of covering up a crime.
In May, Russia’s Interior Ministry issued an arrest warrant for Ukrainian citizen Yuriy Denisov, saying that he was suspected of organizing the deadly attack.
Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said at the time that Denisov and Trepova had decided to assassinate Tatarsky. The FSB also tried to link the killing to associates of imprisoned opposition leader Aleksei Navalny.
The FSB has not provided any evidence to back the allegations, and Navalny’s aides have alleged the authorities were trying to link the anti-corruption crusader to the explosion to lay further criminal charges against him in the future.