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Opposition Activist's Wife Is Sentenced

A former opposition activist turned housewife was sentenced to 10 years in jail after convinction on drug charges in a case that her supporters maintain was fabricated to pressure her husband, a current opposition member.

Taisya Osipova, 25, was found guilty by a Smolensk district court of attempting to sell illegal narcotics and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

The verdict was announced late Thursday without any observation by members of the media, who had been force to leave the courtroom, Kommersant reported, citing witnesses.

Osipova's defense lawyers said they would appeal the verdict in the case. Her supporters have said the case was created by law enforcement in order to put pressure on Sergei Fomchenkov, Osipova's husband and a member of the radical group Other Russia.

Osipova is the mother of 5-year-old daughter and has a severe case of diabetes.

Osipova was arrested in 2010 after several packets of heroin were found in her apartment during a search conducted jointly by officers from a drug-fighting unit with police officers who combat extremist activity.

Police officers said they were tipped off to drug trade at Osipova's apartment by two students at a local university. Those students were members of Nashi, the pro-Kremlin Nashi youth organization, and have reported on students' political activity of students to police.

The Nashi members and the police officers who testified in court presented conflicting accounts of the case, and Osipova's defense lawyers raised doubt about their independence.

Politically active in Smolensk in the early 2000s, Osipova has since kept a low profile, raising her daughter and living separately from Fomchenkov, who was engaged in political activity in Moscow.

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