April 5, 2018 / 2:26 PM / a year ago

Russian historian who exposed Stalin's crimes cleared of child pornography - TASS

MOSCOW, April 5 (Reuters) - A Russian historian whose exposure of Soviet leader Josef Stalin’s crimes angered state officials was cleared of child pornography charges on Thursday, the TASS news agency reported.

State prosecutors had accused Yuri Dmitriev of involving his adopted daughter, then 11, in child pornography, of illegally possessing components of a firearm, and of depravity involving a minor.

Some of Russia’s leading cultural figures had said Dmitriev was framed because his focus on Stalin’s crimes - he found a mass grave with up to 9,000 bodies dating from the Soviet dictator’s Great Terror in the 1930s - jarred with the Kremlin narrative that Russia must not be ashamed of its past.

The TASS news agency said a court in Petrozavodsk in north-west Russia had cleared Dmitriev of the child pornography and depravity charges on Thursday. However, it said it had found him guilty of illegally possessing “the main elements of” a firearm, something Dmitriev denied.

State prosecutors had demanded he be jailed for nine years. TASS cited Dmitriev’s lawyer as saying his client would have to do around three months of community work instead. (Reporting by Andrew Osborn Editing by Christian Lowe)

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