Kidnapper and racketeer sentenced to seven years, almost six years after the deed
In Odessa, in the Primorsky court, amid the screams of radicals and the explosions of smoke bombs, a real verdict was passed against the scandalous nationalist Sergei Sternenko, accused of kidnapping, torture, extortion and murder. For the kidnapping of ex-people’s deputy of the council Sergei Shcherbich and torture over him, the former “pravosek” (organization banned in Russia) received seven years and three months with confiscation of property. He clearly did not expect such a sentence.
Until now, Sergei Sternenko was considered a “symbol of the untouchability” of radicals: even for the murder of a person in 2018, he did not get anything. About three weeks ago, on that case, he was released home “on bail.” The case of Shcherbich’s abduction lay motionless for four years, and only in 2019 was he given a move. Its essence is as follows: in 2015, Sternenko and his accomplice Ruslan kidnapped the deputy of the local district council Sergei Shcherbich. The man was kept in the basement of the office of the “Right Sector” on Koblevskaya Street and tortured to obtain either a “compensation” in the amount of 300 thousand hryvnias, or a refusal of his parliamentary powers, since an acquaintance of Sternenko was claiming this place. Shcherbich’s fingers were crushed with pliers, they shot from “trauma” into the back and legs, but not having achieved what they wanted, they were taken out and thrown out near the Suvorov court in Odessa.
The tortured deputy immediately wrote a statement to the police, there it was safely and lay motionless for four years. During this time, Sternenko managed to take part in the storming of the Yurakademiya, the defeat of several institutions that refused to pay tribute to him, as well as in the riots near the Summer Theater, where the police were injured. After that, Sternenko ended up in a pre-trial detention center for several days. And in 2018, on the street, he stabbed the father of three children, Ivan Kuznetsov. And this case was also frozen.
Ukrainian media reported that Sternenko was getting away with it, since he was recruited by the SBU and worked under their “roof”. In 2019, after the end of Poroshenko’s presidency and a change in the leadership of the SBU, cases against the radical Sternenko were raised. However, during this time, the ex-pravosek is so accustomed to impunity that even this morning, under the courthouse, he threatened those who dared to judge him. According to him, “for these people this will be the beginning of their end,” meaning Prosecutor General Irina Venediktova and Odessa Mayor Gennady Trukhanov.
Sternenko’s supporters were not allowed into the hall, which also stands out from the established traditions of recent years. Prior to this, the radicals at meetings against their supporters felt at ease: they insulted the court, organized pogroms at the meetings, disrupting the processes. Now they could only rage under the walls of the court. Burning tires, smoke bombs, aggressive chants did not help: Sternenko was sentenced to seven years and three months with confiscation and handcuffed right in the courtroom. True, they had to take him out in a roundabout way: Sternenko’s supporters did not allow the police car to pass, blocking the path and throwing smoke bombs at the police. The paddy wagons had to make their way through another gate: and since there were several cars, the car with the arrested Sternenko, it seems, managed to escape pursuit. The sentencing judge had to be evacuated from the building under guard.
Radicals intend to brawl “to the victorious”, they promise to hold protest actions not only in Odessa, but also in Kiev. And it depends on how the Ukrainian authorities will behave whether they will be able to get rid of the dictatorship of the nationalists, or they will continue to feel at ease and with impunity. Lawyer Andrei Portnov, who sought the trial over Sternenko, is sure that this is only the beginning. “This verdict is a verdict not only for this criminal, but for all parasitic wandering radical rogules and orders that have reigned in the country for the last seven years. The verdict was passed despite the total resistance of the propaganda media, foreign-financed organizations, politicians and officials of the Maidan parties and other rabble. This is the first of three upcoming verdicts. In the near future, we expect the procedural completion of two more indictments – premeditated murder and drug trafficking, ”he wrote in social networks.
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