A Russian single father whose daughter was reported for drawing an anti-war picture has been given a two-year jail term for discrediting the army.
Alexei Moskalev, 53, was not in court in Yefremov for the verdict. The court press secretary said he had escaped house arrest.
“I don’t know where he is,” his lawyer Vladimir Biliyenko told the BBC.
His daughter Masha, 13, was sent to a children’s home in early March when the criminal case began.
Moskalev was accused of repeatedly criticising the Russian army on social media and had appeared in court the day before.
He is only the latest Russian to be given a jail term for discrediting the military but his case has attracted international attention because of the authorities’ decision to remove his daughter from their home early in March.
The family’s problems began last April when Masha Moskaleva’s school told authorities that she had drawn a Ukrainian flag with the words “Glory to Ukraine”, rockets and a Russian flag bearing the phrase “No to war!”
Moskalev has been recognised as a political prisoner by human rights group Memorial, which has itself been banned by Russia’s authorities.
As the case resumed on Tuesday in Yefremov, 320km (200 miles) south of Moscow, his lawyer spread on a table some of the girl’s latest drawings of animals which she had done while in care.
Mr Biliyenko told independent news outlet Sotavision that on one letter to her father she had written: “Papa you’re my hero.”
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