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Russian opposition figure flees to Ukraine to avoid prosecution

January 19, 15:39 UTC+3 MOSCOW
A Moscow court was due to pronounce the verdict for the 76-year-old opposition figure on Tuesday
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Railway station in Kharkiv, Ukraine

Railway station in Kharkiv, Ukraine

© AP Photo/Andrew Kravchenko

MOSCOW, January 19. /TASS/. Russian opposition activist Vladimir Ionov accused of numerous violations at rallies has been put on the federal wanted list over his repeated failure to attend a Moscow court hearing, the press service of the court said on Tuesday.

Moscow’s Preobrazhensky court was due to pronounce the verdict for the 76-year-old opposition figure on Tuesday. Judge Leonid Garbar has announced the suspension of proceedings into the case as Ionov is hiding in Ukraine.

"There is information that defendant Ionov is in Kharkiv, Ukraine," the prosecutor said. The lawyer of the opposition activist failed to say where her client was.

The court hearings have earlier been postponed three times as the defendant was in hospital. Mass media reports said Ionov fled Russia last month.

Ionov faces up to five years in jail for having repeatedly violated the rules of organizing or holding rallies, demonstrations, marches and pickets. He has earlier pledged not to leave the country.

The prosecutor has earlier demanded a three-year suspended prison sentence for Ionov.

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