Yekaterinburg, May 12, Interfax - The blogger Ruslan Sokolovsky, who was found guilty and given a suspended sentence for offending the religious feelings, thanked bloggers and journalists for support.
"A big thank you to everyone who came to the proceedings, for your support. I believe it is thanks to this trial being open that it did not result in as harsh a punishment as it might have been. (...) I am very content that I am free. I got the chance not to be languishing in damp prison and dying from tuberculosis, but to do something useful and interesting," Sokolovsky told journalists.
He said he had not hoped for the acquittal. "My judge had not handed down a single non-guilty verdict in her entire career," the blogger said.
He noted that he acquired big media publicity and will try to put it to good use.
"I will be very calm and quiet lest I be locked up for real," Sokolovsky said.
First thing he is going to do is to see his girlfriend, talk to his mother and solve the housing problem, he said.
"All these events have ruined me, I've lost all my money," the blogger said.
He also said that he wanted to study for a degree but has yet to decide in what area. "Maybe I will study journalism," Sokolovsky said.
It was reported that on Thursday the Verkh-Isetsky District Court of Yekaterinburg had given Sokolovsky a suspended sentence of three and a half years with a three-year probation period.
The state prosecutor asked for a three-year sentence at a medium-security facility. The defense lawyer asked to acquit the blogger.