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New Bolotnaya Square Prosecution

30 November 2012 

Source: (info)
Law enforcement authorities have filed a new criminal case against members of the Russian opposition. It is directly linked to the investigations into the 6 May demonstration on Bolotnaya Square and into the funding of disturbances in a series of cities across the Russian Federation. 

The new investigation concerning an unspecified number of persons was opened under Article 280 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation in relation to alleged public calls for the forcible overthrow of the government, a crime which is punishable by up to five years in prison. Rikhard Sobolev, who has been investigated in relation to the Bolotnaya Square demonstration, has been questioned as a witness in the context of the new case on Wednesday 28 November, reports, citing Nezavisimaya gazeta.

Sobolev’s lawyer declined to reveal any details of the new case, referring to a confidentiality agreement. He did however allude to the “heavy atmosphere” during the questioning of his client and added that it was conducted by an officer from the FSB’s national bureau for anti-terrorism and the protection of the Constitution. According to sources quoted by Nezavisimaya gazeta the questioning focused on the possible involvement of opposition leaders in the 6 May protests.

The investigation into the disturbances on Bolotnaya Square was launched at the end of May 2012. According to investigators, participants in the opposition’s “March of Millions” on 6 May entered into conflict with police, as a result of which several law enforcement officers were injured. The trial against Maksim Luzyanin, one of about twenty persons currently under investigation, has just concluded. He pleaded guilty and has been sentenced to four and a half years in prison.

The investigation into the financing of disturbances in Russian cities with money from abroad was opened in October 2012 on the basis of an inquiry into facts cited by a documentary aired on NTV called “Anatomy of a protest.”

Among those charged in the case are Sergei Udaltsov, co-ordinator of Left Front, as well as the activists Leonid Razzvozhaev and Konstantin Lebedev. Lebedev and Razzvozhaev are currently in detention. Udaltsov was released on the condition of travel restrictions.