Wednesday, 7 December, 2022
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Russian court jails US citizen for kicking police officer

MOSCOW: A court in the western Russian city of Voronezh on Tuesday sentenced a 28-year-old US citizen to four years and six months behind bars for kicking a law enforcement official, reports AFP.

"This man, who disagreed with lawful actions taken by the authorities, used violence against a police officer who was on duty, kicking him several times," the investigative committee, which probes major crimes, said in a statement.

The American, named by Russian-state news agency as Robert Gilman, intends to appeal against the verdict, his lawyer told the agency. His defence, Valery Ivannikov, added that he plans to contact US officials to arrange a prisoner exchange.

The investigative committee said Gilman was detained by police after disrupting public order while intoxicated on a train. It said he had initially pleaded not guilty but subsequently reversed the decision.

In April, Russia and the United States swapped prisoners despite tensions over the conflict in Ukraine. Moscow handing over a jailed ex-Marine Trevor Reed in exchange for a Russian pilot convicted of drug smuggling.

Reed was sentenced to nine years in prison by a Russian court in July 2020 after allegedly attacking police officers while drunk.

Another US citizen, Paul Whelan, a former security official at a vehicle parts company, remains in a Russian prison serving 16 years on espionage charges.