"Supreme Court of Crimea," represented by "judge" Igor Kryuchkov, changed the guilty verdict against the Crimean journalist Mykola Semena.

"Supreme Court of Crimea" have challenged an appeal against the conviction of the Crimean journalist Mykola Semena, accused of something to be known as violating the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation.

The defense requested for interrogation of journalist Pritulaas a witness by means of a conference call, but the judge rejected the application.

The defense of Mykola Semena insisted that the decision of the court of first instance was illegal, besides the court did not allow for the examination of witnesses who demanded protection. In the course of the debate, lawyer Emil Kurbadinov stated that the verdict of the court did not keep up to any criticism and was completely politically motivated. Besides, there is a resolution of the European Parliament that demands the repeal of the illegal verdict of Mykola Semena.

In turn lawyer Aleksander Popkov stated that the persecution of a journalist is unacceptable regardless of whether he recognizes Russian annexation of Crimea or not, moreover, the defender indicated the absence of any internationally recognized documents confirming that the Crimea was a territory of the Russian Federation, and asked to cancel the sentence and fully justify Semena.

Mykola Semena also supported his lawyers and stated that the discussion about the state ownership of the regions was not extremism or separatism, but the right of citizens to freedom of expression. He also informed that he had urged not to violate the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation, but to restore the territorial integrity of states within the internationally recognized borders, and asked to cancel an illegal conviction against him.

Despite all the arguments of the defense and of Mykola himself, the judge decided to slightly change the verdict of the court of first instance: forbade Semena to engage in public activities for 2 years, not 3 as before, and to keep all other articles in force.

Previously, the Railway "District Court" of Simferopol reached a verdict on Mykola Semena in the form of two and a half years' imprisonment conditionally, pleading guilty to calls for separatism. In addition, the "court" prohibited the journalist from engaging in public activities for three years.

Semena did not admit his guilt.

“I am accused of the fact that in my article I called for violation of the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation, which neither I nor my defense agree with. The status of the Crimea is controversial, it is being discussed on a global scale," Semena stated.

Earlier, QHA reported that Mykola Semena, convicted of his professional activities in the occupied Crimea, intended to go to the mainland territory of Ukraine for treatment.