Russian court sentences Meta spokesperson in absentia to six years in prison

The Russian military court issued a verdict Spokesman Andy Stone was sentenced in absentia to 6 years in prison for “openly advocating terrorism”. Reuters reports. Stone’s lawyer asked for an acquittal, and an appeal will be filed against the verdict.

A Moscow court months after Russian authorities sought him out and opened a criminal case against Stone in February on several terror-related charges. Stone was cited for “promoting terrorist activity, public incitement to terrorist activity, public justification of terrorism or advocacy of terrorism, and open calls for extremist activities.”

The move comes after Russia’s Investigative Committee opened an investigation into Meta in March 2022. He alleged that Stone incited extremist activity after removing “a ban on calls for violence against the Russian military on his platforms.” Stone said Meta had “temporarily” allowed some posts that had been taken down for promoting violence to remain on its platform, but noted that the company would still outlaw “credible calls for violence against Russian citizens.”

In any case, it seems unlikely that Stone will spend time behind bars in Russia unless he goes there or to a country that has an extradition treaty with the nation. It is not uncommon for a person to have or has been convicted in another country (often for crimes related to espionage or hacking) and will never have to face those consequences.

Russia appointed Meta is an extremist organization. Blocked access and In 2022, shortly after starting to invade Ukraine.

Engadget has reached out to Meta for comment.

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