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Moscow City Court upholds extension of detention for suspects detained following May 6 Bolotnaya Square demonstration

27 November 2012 

Source: (info
Moscow City Court has ruled that four alleged participants in disturbances on Bolotnaya Square be kept in detention until March 6 – Aleksei Polikhovich, Vladimir Akimenkov, Nikolai Kavkazsky and Yaroslav Belousov, reports, citing the Russian Legal Information Agency. The court dismissed complaints by their lawyers who insisted that the defendants be released. 

Dmitry Agranovsky, Vladimir Akimenkov’s lawyer, has reported that his client is in ill health. Akimenkov is currently in hospital at the Matrosskaya Tishina pre-trial detention centre. The defence pointed out that in such conditions and without necessary treatment he may become completely blind. On November 2 writer Ludmila Ulitskaya appealed to the chair of the Moscow City Court, Olga Egorova, to show mercy. 

Akimenkov was detained on July 10. On November 9, he was charged under Article 212, Section 2, of the Criminal Code (participation in a mass riot). Investigators claim Akimenkov had joined arms in a chain and was shouting out slogans, as well as preventing law enforcement officers from carrying out arrests. 

Aleksandra Pirogova, Aleksei Polikhovich’s lawyer, pointed out that her client had not attempted to hide from the authorities and had no intention to put pressure on the riot police (OMON) officers, alledgedly victims of his actions. The lawyer also said there was no factual evidence to confirm the statement made by investigators that he was an active participant in socially destructive organisations. The lawyer added that although Polikhovich does not admit guilt, he has been giving testimony and has set out his position to the investigators. 

Polikhovich has been in detention since July 25. He has also been accused of participating in a mass riot. According to the investigators, Polikhovich “was pulling persons who had been detained from the hands of the law enforcement officers”, and also “was snatching at police uniforms.” 

Altogether there are 18 persons under investigation in connection with the Bolotnaya Square demonstration of May 6. On November 9, Moscow’s Zamoskvoretsky court tried the case of Maksim Luzyanin on the basis of a plea bargain and sentenced him to 4.5 years in prison. He is the only “Bolotnaya prisoner” who has fully admitted guilt. Luzyanin was found guilty under Article 212, Section 2, of the Criminal Code and under Article 318, Section 1 (use of force against an official). The Prosecutor requested a sentence of 6.5 years in prison. On November 14, Luzyanin lodged an appeal against the judgment.