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Moscow court upholds arrest of another Opposition activist

December 07, 2011, 19:04 UTC+3

Earlier in the day, the court upheld a 15-day arrest of Navalny's colleague Ilya Yashin

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MOSCOW, December 7 (Itar-Tass) — Moscow's Tverskoi court on Wednesday upheld a 15-day arrest of blogger Alexei Navalny, another Opposition activist detained during the unsanctioned rally in the Russian capital on December 5.

The court turned down the defense's petition which had asked to overturn the resolution by magistrate Olga Borovkova, drop proceedings in the case and set Navalny free.

Making a statement at the hearing, Navalny said he regarded judge Borovkova's decision illegitimate.

"The available videos clearly show that I was not resisting police, and that other police officers were detaining me," the blogger said, "according to the court's resolution the judge meted out a 15-day arrest to me while taking into account my having underage children and lack of criminal conviction, i.e. these circumstances are cited as aggravating."

Prior to the hearing, Navalny told reporters he had no reasons to complain about the conditions in the room where he had been staying together with other persons detained for administrative offenses.

"The conditions are normal there, the people are decent. In a brief talk with his relatives, he asked to bring him six packs of cigarettes saying "I don't smoke, it's for the detained guys."

Earlier in the day, the court upheld a 15-day arrest of Navalny's colleague Ilya Yashin.

In the course of the hearing, judge Alexei Krivoruchko turned down a number of petitions lodged by the blogger's lawyers, including the one to review a video showing Navalny and his detention, as well as the questioning. The lawyers then demanded recusal of the judge saying he was biased. They also argued that he was on the so-called Magnitsky list of the Russian officials.

Yashin, too, had noted that Krivoruchko's name on "the Magnitsky list," too, but the judge corrected him that saying "on Cardin's list" would be more appropriate.

As he testified at the hearing, Yashin said "nobody was resisting the police; on the contrary, Alexei was urging people to obey the law-enforcement personnel."

After the testimony, Yashin asked the court to let him say in the courtroom as there was little room in the car. The judge explained he had no right to make such decision as it was up to the bailiffs to decide. The bailiffs promptly told Yashin to follow them.

The court said Yashin's testimony was unsubstantiated and authentic. It is refuted by the testimony given by law-enforcers, the court said.

Also on Tuesday, the magistrate sections of the Tverskoi court reviewed cases against several dozen detainees. Some of them were ordered to pay 500-rouble fines, and others were given a one-day arrest which expires on Wednesday evening.

The Opposition "Solidarity" movement gathered for a rally in Chistye Prudy in central Moscow on Monday, to protest against the results of the parliamentary elections. Taking part in the protest were some 2,000 people, according to city police.

After the end of the rally, police warned the participants should leave, but several dozen people attempted a breakthrough and offered resistance to police and tried to block the traffic.

"Moscow police responded quickly and took measures to avoid a negative development and the aggravation of the situation, in full conformity with the scope of their powers determined by legislation," the press service of the Interior Ministry said.

More than 300 people were detained, including Opposition activists Ilya Yashin and Alexei Navalny. Police claimed they had actively called for disobeying law-enforcement personnel.

Police warned they will "intercept any attempts to hold unsanctioned rallies in Moscow."

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