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Retired intelligence officer gets 13 years for coup plot

Retired intelligence officer gets 13 years for coup plot
A Moscow court has sentenced a 64-year-old retired colonel of military intelligence to 13 years in prison for plotting an armed rebellion in central Russia’s Vladimir Region in 2010.

Vladimir Kvachkov pleaded not guilty to the charges, but admitted he had been organizing guerilla groups “to fight foreign intervention.” However, the prosecutors insisted that Kvachkov had plotted a coup because he was extremely unhappy with the country’s current political system. Their evidence included books, articles and other propaganda seized from the retired officer’s apartment.

Kvachkov’s earlier speech in court was so openly anti-Semitic that the Judge had to interrupt it.

Prosecutors also noted that Kvachkov and his accomplice, 62-year-old Aleksandr Kiselyov, managed to form a troop of about 10 pensioners who were equally unhappy with authorities on the federal and local level. The group planned to start an uprising in the town of Kovrov, in Vladimir Region and then proceed with a march to Moscow, which is 266km to the west. The rebellion was scheduled to begin on July 24, 2010, but the organizers were detained much earlier.

The judges ruled against stripping Kvachkov and Kiselyov of their officer ranks.

Kvachkov became famous in 2005 when he was arrested and charged with an attempt on the life of Anatoly Chubais – the mastermind of President Boris Yeltsin’s economic reforms, who at that time headed the national power grid RAO UES.

The retired officer spent several years in custody, but a jury twice ruled him not guilty and the Supreme Court supported the acquittal. In December 2010 Kvachkov was released and received an apology from prosecutors and financial compensation for unjust imprisonment. However, he was arrested again almost immediately over the attempted armed mutiny case.

The defense team blasted the 13-year sentence as unjust and unfounded and promised an appeal.