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MOSCOW, August 13 (Itar-Tass) - The lawyers of political opposition activist Sergei Udaltsov believe they have the right to distribute political statements by their client living under home arrest, and insist that their actions do not contradict rulings by Moscow courts, Udaltsov lawyer Nikolai Polozov told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.
The Investigative Committee complained to the Bar of Moscow and Moscow region that Udaltsov's four assistants had been disseminating statements by their client in the mass media. "The court ruling on his house arrest bans his communication with the press, and the lawyers' actions violate this ruling," the Investigative Committee said.
But Polozov said "we believe arguments of the Investigative Committee are unsubstantiated, and reserve the right to record Udaltsov's statements and relay them through the mass media."
Lawyer Violetta Volkova told Itar-Tass that the Bar had not yet received documents from the Investigative Committee and had not determined the review procedure. "Under the law, a Bar panel should consider the investigators' arguments, but I'm ready to stand by my actions, the right to communicate with my client and highlight this case and Udaltsov's convictions in the mass media in the future," Volkova said.
She added that the Bar might discipline the lawyers with a reprimand. The maximum penalty is stripping them of lawyer status.
The criminal case against Udaltsov over planning mass riots across Russia was opened after a probe into the Anatomy of Protest film run by the NTV channel. It showed footage of a meeting between Russian opposition activists and Georgian politician Givi Targamadze. Also, Udaltsov was accused of hooliganism.
Udaltsov has been under home arrest since February 2013, living in his apartment in Moscow's Zatonnaya Street. He is banned from seeing acquaintances or using the telephone or the internet.