MOSCOW, November 29 (Itar-Tass) — The Investigative Committee /SK/ pooled two criminal cases against Leonid Razvozzhayev, an Opposition activist and aide to a State Duma lawmaker, SK spokesman Vladimir Markin told Itar-Tass on Thursday.
"These are a criminal case against Razvozzhayev and other persons accused of robbery of a businessman in Angarsk in 1997, and a criminal case against Sergei Udaltsov, Leonid Razvozzhayev, and Konstantin Lebedev over plotting riots in Moscow and other Russian regions /the second criminal case was opened following a check into the facts shown in the Anatomy of Protest - 2 film on NTV Channel - eds Itar-Tass/," Markin said.
The decision was made under Article 153 of the Criminal Procedure Code, according to which the criminal cases about the crimes committed by one person can be pooled.
Sergei Udaltsov, Leonid Razvozzhayev and Konstantin Lebedev are suspects in the case over preparations to stage mass disturbances. Criminal proceedings were instituted over the facts shown in the Anatomy of Protest-2 film, which featured a scene where they were discussing the possibility to stage riots in Moscow and Russian regions.
The meeting, captured by a spycam, took place in Minsk, and involved chairman of the Georgian parliament's committee for defense and security Givi Targamadze, Georgia's consul in Moldova Mikhail Iashvili, their three aides, as well as Udaltsov, Lebedev and Razvozzhayev.
Udaltsov is on recognizance, and Lebedev and Razvozzhayev have been placed under arrest.
Razvozzhayev was put on the federal wanted list. On October 21, he turned himself in to the authorities. He later claimed that he had been kidnapped in Kiev and subjected to torturers for two days.
Subsequent reports said Razvozzhayev had withdrawn his testimony and admission of guilt. The Investigative Committee underlined that it had sufficient evidence against Razvozzhayev without his testimony.
Udaltsov and Ponomaryov repeatedly denied the riot plans. None of the defendants pleaded guilty.
If found guilty, they might face up to five years in prison.
The second criminal case was opened over robbery in Angarsk in 1997. The investigation has not been carried through.
An Angarsk resident recently complained to the SK that the persons who had robbed her husband in 1997, had not been arraigned. "The prosecutors handed over the criminal case to the SK to complete the probe," the SK spokesman said.
It follows from the criminal case materials that Razvozzhayev had entered into collusion with unidentified persons to rob and steal the property of a businessman who had traded in furs. The investigators said he had broken into the businessman's apartment together with his accomplices on December 4, 1997. Armed with a hunting gun and two pistols, they tied the businessman, and then beat him and threatened with weapons, demanding that he give them his property.
According to the case materials, Razvozzhayev and his accomplices stole a video camera and 500 fur caps, causing an estimated damage of 95 million non-denominated roubles.
"It should be noted that during the investigation into the criminal case, Leonid Razvozzhayev was identified by the victim as one of the attackers, who had beaten him and threatened with a rifle," the SK representative underlined.
State Duma lawmaker Ilya Ponomaryov called the accusation of robbery against his aide "utter nonsense". "Obviously, they don't have enough evidence in the main criminal case over the Anatomy of Protest -2 film, so the investigators want to add a new criminal article against him. How about the statute of limitations?" he said.
Ponomaryov said he was not acquainted with Razvozzhayev in 1997. "It does not mean he's guilty. I'm 100-percent certain that this accusation is utter nonsense," the lawmaker stressed.