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The Bolotnaya Case: Moscow City Court recognises detention of Kovyazin legal

Source: HRO.org (info), 02/10/12 

· Right of assembly  · Access to justice  · Ministry of Internal Affairs  · Moscow city & Moscow region

Moscow City Court has dismissed a complaint over the detention of freelance correspondent of the newspaper Vyatsky Observer, Leonid Kovyazin, accused in connection with the Bolotnaya case, RAPSI reports, citing the court’s press spokesman.

On 7th September, a judge at Moscow’s Basmanny district court, Olga Solopova, sanctioned the detention of Kovyazin until 5th November. During the court hearing, investigators expressed the opinion that Kovyazin could abscond, obstruct the investigation or destroy evidence in connection with the case. The accused professed his innocence. “I am neither preparing to abscond, nor obstruct the case,” said Kovyazin.

On 6th September, Kovyazin was charged under Article 212, Section 2 of the Criminal Code (participation in mass unrest). “According to the investigation, Kovyazin, along with some other people, overturned the portable toilets and used them to obstruct the movement of both demonstrators and police officers at the event. Kovyazin’s guilt is based on the incontrovertible evidence of his participation in a crime. In particular, there are video clips, which the investigation has, as well as the testimony of witnesses,” says the report from the Russian Investigative Committee.

As Grani.ru points out, Kovyazin was arrested on 5th September in Kirov by investigators from Moscow. Employees of the Investigative Committee carried out a search of his home and visited the editorial office of Vyatski Observer, “with a view to examining the premises”. 

In the words of an activist of the Committee For Honest Elections, Tatyana Zhdanova, Kovyazin was at the protest on 6th May as a journalist. He was arrested twice at Bolotnaya, but after presenting his journalist’s pass, was released without charge.

In the near future, “dozens of new suspects will appear in the Bolotnaya Case,” as Grani.ru cites the investigator Sergei Kosterin saying at the bail hearing in the case of another detainee in this case, Aleksei Polikhovich. According to Kosterin, the investigation estimated there were about 70 participants in the mass unrest. Gazeta.ru quotes its own sources to report that in the near future arrests in connection with the Bolotnaya Case will continue.

At present, according to Grani.ru, there are now 17 suspects in the case, with 12 of these currently being held on remand.
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