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MOSCOW, August 24 (Itar-Tass) —— The Russian opposition member, Garri Kasparov, says he will insist on bringing criminal charges against the policemen who detained him illegally.
He made the statement to reporters on Friday after the peace of justice found him innocent of an administrative offense – the participation in an unpermitted action near the Moscow Khamovniki District Court on August 17, the day the Pussy Riot punk band members were sentenced. There are no formal elements of an administrative offense, the case is dropped, the judge said.
A policeman told the court he detained Kasparov for shouting slogans near the court building at about 4:00 p.m. on August 17. He said Kasparov was chanting, “Free Pussy Riot” and “Down with the Police State.”
Kasparov pleaded not guilty and said he had come to the Moscow Khamovniki District Court to hear the sentence in the Pussy Riot case but knew nothing about the opposition action.
In all, more than 60 people were detained near the Moscow Khamovniki District Court, which sentenced three Pussy Riot punk band members to two years for an act of hooliganism at the Christ the Savior Cathedral.
“More than 60 people were taken to police stations,” the police told Itar-Tass. The police said both supporters and opponents of Pussy Riot were detained. The detainees included Garri Kasparov and Left Front coordinator Sergei Udaltsov.
Kasparov was suspected of biting a police officer in the course of the detention. He strongly rejected the claim. “I never saw that man. As for the bite, doctors should say where it comes from. It may be a dog bite,” Kasparov said.
The police have submitted materials on Kasparov’s alleged biting of an officer to the Russian Investigative Committee. “An officer of the second operative regiment of the Moscow city police department was bitten by citizen Kasparov in his detention near the Khamovniki court,” the police said. Doctors confirmed that the officer had bites on his palm and an index finger.
Pussy Riot supporters shouted “Shame” when the sentence was passed, and opponents lauded the sentence. Deputy Dmitry Gudkov, journalist Leonid Parfyonov, writer Dmitry Bykov and opposition member Vladimir Ryzhov came to the court to support Pussy Riot singers.