MOSCOW, January 9 (RAPSI) – A court in Yekaterinburg, a city in Russia’s Urals, has dropped an extremism case against local citizen Vladimir Munuylenko, his lawyer Alexey Bushmakov has told RAPSI.

According to the attorney, the case has been closed for absence of a crime in the act due to the recent changes in legislation.

The case against Manuylenko was opened in April 2018 because of his publications on VKontakte. Investigators claimed that he made the posts to incite national hatred and enmity against a certain group of people. In October, the man was placed in a mental hospital for a month to undergo examination.

On December 28, 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.