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Moscow court hands down first verdict in Bolotnaya Square riots case

April 25, 2013, 18:58 UTC+3

Konstantin Lebedev, an aide to Left Front coordinator Sergei Udaltsov, was sentenced to 2.5 years in jail for involvement in disturbances in Moscow's Bolotnaya Square

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MOSCOW, April 25 (Itar-Tass) - The Moscow City Court on Thursday passed the first verdict in the case over organization of and preparations for mass disturbances in Russia. Konstantin Lebedev, an aide to Left Front coordinator Sergei Udaltsov, was sentenced to 2.5 years in jail for involvement in disturbances in Moscow's Bolotnaya Square last May and planning riots in the country. The resolution was passed by judge Podoprigorov.

In passing the verdict, the court took into consideration the information about the defendant's personality and his cooperation with the investigator, and meted out the punishment "below the low threshold". It said given the circumstances of the case, a penalty other than imprisonment was not possible.

The prosecutor for the state had demanded five years in prison for Lebedev.

Lebedev, who had been under house arrest, was taken in custody in the courtroom. He will serve his sentence in a general regime penitentiary.

The criminal case against Lebedev was reviewed under special procedure as he had signed a plea bargain agreement. He had fully admitted his guilt and repented.

Lebedev will not appeal the verdict, his lawyer Valery Lavrov told reporters.

"Immediately after the verdict was read, Lebedev told me he would not appeal," the lawyer said adding that his client might change his mind.

He underlined that the defense would petition for parole, after Lebedev had served part of the prison term.

Lavrov also said that "he /Lebedev/ would be questioned in the case against Razvozzhayev and Udaltsov."

Answering the reporters’ question about whether his client was a foreign agent or a project of secret services, Lavrov said "Lebedev has not been anyone's agents."

The investigator said "Lebedev, together with Sergei Udaltsov, Leonid Razvozzhayev and Givi Targamadze, on May 6, 2012, with the view of encroaching upon the principles of security and stability of the society and unsettling the socio-political situation in the Russian Federation, organized mass disturbances in Bolotnaya Square, accompanied by violence against government representatives and destruction of property."

Continuing their illegal activity in 2012, the accomplices planned further riots in Russia. To this end, they set up the so-called training camps in various Russian regions, including Ivanovo, Yaroslavl, Nizhny Novgorod, Volgograd, Kazan and Lithuania, recruited participants in mass disturbances, and engaged in organization and preparation activities which later were stopped by law-enforcement personnel.

It follows from the indictment that Lebedev, Udaltsov and Razvozzhayev had received remuneration from Georgian politician Targamadze for planning and preparing riots in Russia.

The court ascertained that Lebedev had received 30,000 U.S. dollars to organize riots in Moscow's Bolotnaya Square on May 6. "Lebedev organized the distribution and control over the expenses. He set the sum of wages for himself and his three accomplices at 50,000 roubles," the judge said as he was reading the verdict.

The money was used to purchase banners, promotion literature, tents and training. An organizing campaign was launched to recruit followers to participate in Moscow riots. It was paid for with this money.

The accomplices received some 900,000 roubles to purchase cars and rent apartments.

"The court ascertained the use of some 200,000 dollars," Lebedev's lawyer summed up.

However, the verdict did not name Lebedev's accomplices or the persons who had given him the money or held him accountable for its use.

Lavrov said no names had been mentioned because the court could not accuse anyone before the case review.

The court will deduct three months Lebedev spent in custody from this prison term, but the house arrest time is not counted as it is still a new measure of restraint.

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