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Russian Court Upholds 27-Year Jail Term of Pro-War Blogger's Killer

Daria Trepova. Peter Kovalev / TASS

A Moscow court on Monday upheld the 27-year jail sentence for Daria Trepova over the killing of prominent pro-war blogger and propagandist Maxim Fomin, better known as Vladlen Tatarsky.

Trepova, 26, gifted Tatarsky a golden bust of himself at an April 2023 event in a St. Petersburg cafe popular among ultranationalists and pro-war figures. An explosive device hidden inside the statuette went off a few minutes later, killing Tatarsky and injuring over 50 people. 

In January, a St. Petersburg court sentenced her to 27 years in prison on charges of terrorism, illegal trafficking of explosive devices, and forgery. 

Prosecutors appealed the verdict, asking the court to add one more year to Trepova’s prison sentence, which is already the longest-known sentence handed down to a woman in modern Russian history.

According to the state-run TASS news agency, Trepova asked the judge to reduce her sentence and release her after she served time in pre-trial detention.

Her lawyer argued that prosecutors did not prove Trepova’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt and asked the judge to take into account her cooperation with investigators, according to the independent news website Mediazona.

The Appellate Military Court in Moscow struck down the prosecution’s appeal and left Trepova’s sentence unchanged on Monday.

Trepova, who took part in the appeal hearing by video link, expressed an apology to Tatarsky’s widow in court.

“It pains me to see your tears. I didn’t have the guts to do it [earlier], I apologize now,” Trepova said.

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