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ST. PETERSBURG, February 10. /TASS/. The case of opposition activist Ildar Dadin will be reviewed while the Criminal Code’s article under which he was convicted will be changed, Russia’s Constitutional Court announced on Friday.
"The lawmakers are supposed to introduce necessary changes in the article (of the Russian Criminal Cole) while the verdict in Ildar Dadin’s case is subject to review," the Constitutional Court said in a statement. The Court announced its decision concerning Dadin’s appeal against Article 212.1 of the Russian Criminal Code (repeated violations of the rules of public gatherings) under which he had been sentenced to 2.5 years in a penal colony.
The Constitutional Court stated that criminal prosecution for repeated violations of the rules of public gatherings was allowable. However, the Court added that "if a person who was given an administrative sentence at least three times in the previous 180 days violates the rules of public gatherings but does not inflict any damage, then the violation should be viewed as a technical infraction rather than a crime posing a risk to the public, so it cannot create criminal liability."
According to the Court, "criminal liability for violating the rules of public gatherings and rallies should correspond with the public danger the offence creates."
Besides, the article at issue can only be applied if repeated violations of the rules of public gatherings are confirmed by court rulings imposing administrative sentences, the Constitutional Court said adding that courts should also prove intent to violate rallies regulations.
Article 212.1, introduced in the Russian Criminal Code in July 2014, stipulates criminal liability for repeated violations of the rules of public gatherings. Dadin is the first and by far the only one person convicted under this article.
In December 2015, Moscow’s Basmanny District Court found Dadin guilty on four counts of participating in unauthorized protests in Moscow. He was sentenced to three years in a penal colony but then the Moscow City Court reduced his jail term to two and a half years.
Dadin filed an appeal against the article under which he had been convicted with the Constitutional Court.
In November 2016, the Russian media published a letter by Dadin saying that he was subject to torture while serving his sentence in the Segezh colony in Karelia, northwestern Russia. However, independent doctors who visited him in the colony found no signs of bodily injuries, neither did investigators. Later it became known that after a probe, Dadin was transferred to a penal colony in the Altai region, Siberia.