Russian historian Yury Dmitriyev
Russian historian Yury Dmitriyev, who heads rights group Memorial's branch in Karelia, arrives for the verdict in his child pornography trial at a court in the city of Petrozavodsk in northwestern Russia. Image Credit: AFP

Petrozavodsk, Russia:A Russian court on Wednesday sentenced respected Gulag historian Yury Dmitriyev to more than three years in prison in a controversial sexual abuse case, his lawyer said.

Viktor Anufriyev told reporters outside the courthouse in northwestern Russia that the judge found his client guilty of sexual assault against his adopted daughter and sentenced him to "three years and six months in a strict-regime penal colony".

The lawyer said he had not yet received the written verdict and it was possible that with time served in pre-trial detention Dmitriyev could be free in September.