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Court extends opposition activist's arrest to next year

October 02, 2013, 14:01 UTC+3

The Left Front leader Sergei Udaltsov has been under house arrest at his apartment in southern Moscow since February 2013

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MOSCOW, October 2 (Itar-Tass) - Moscow's Basmanny court on Wednesday extended the arrest of Left Front coordinator Sergei Udaltsov, accused of planning political riots across Russia. He will be detained until February 6.

"The court believes that the investigator's petition to extend the suspect's arrest is substantiated," judge Natalia Dudar said, noting the investigator's concern that Udaltsov, if at large, might escape or put pressure on witnesses.

Proceedings were opened against Udaltsov after viewing of a film entitled Anatomy of Protest showed a meeting between Russian opposition leaders and Georgian politician Givi Targamadze.

The Left Front leader has been under house arrest at his apartment in southern Moscow since February 2013. Authorities have banned him from seeing acquaintances and using the internet or telephone though access to relatives is allowed.

Udaltsov's lawyer Violetta Volkova told the court that house arrest was harmful for the activist's health, and that the restriction meant he could not work to support his children. "He holds no equity to draw dividends unlike certain people. His friends are supporting him and his family," the lawyer said.

Udaltsov objected to detention, proclaiming "They did not let me take part in the Moscow mayor's election. If I had been elected, you would already be building a new courthouse," he said, offering to pay one million rubles in bail money. 

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