MOSCOW, July 22 (RAPSI) – A court in Russia’s city of Barnaul has ordered the Finance Ministry to pay 100,000 rubles ($1,600) in compensation to Maria Motuznaya for illegal prosecution over a publication on VKontakte social network, her attorney Alexey Bushmakov has told RAPSI.

In the spring of 2018, a criminal case was opened against Motuznaya on allegations of inciting hatred and enmity and offending the feelings of the believers.

However, in October, a court granted her motion and returned the case to prosecutors.

After partial decriminalization of the Criminal Code’s extremism article, charges against Motuznaya were dropped, and prosecutors issued a formal apology to her.

On December 28, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a bill mitigating punishment for extremism and incitement of hatred and enmity into law.

Under the document, criminal punishment would be imposed for extremist acts in public, on the Internet or media committed repeatedly within a year. They would be punished with prison terms ranging from 2 to 5 years.

The first extremist violation is to be punishable in accordance with the Code of Administrative Offences by fines of up to 500,000 rubles ($7,500) for companies; and fines of up to 20,000 rubles, community service for up to 100 hours or detention for up to 15 days for individuals.