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Some participants in Bolotnaya riot case won’t be amnestied

December 19, 2013, 15:19 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, December 19. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has explained at his annual ‘grand’ news conference why some of those involved in the Bolotnaya Square riot case would not be amnestied, and urged liberals not to see themselves as ‘sole possessors of ultimate truth’.

Some liberals say “protesters were not doing anything, and draw certain conclusions from that. They assess the situation as they want to and would like to be ‘the ultimate truth,’” the president said in reply to a journalist query. “But it is only up to the court to adjudge,” he said.

“It is not only that it is inadmissible to tear off shoulder-straps or beat law enforcement officers,” he said. “If we allow this, tomorrow, for example, we will see nationalists taking to the streets and battering liberals, while police will not be protecting them. And as a result we will have total chaos,” he warned.

“Any actions of such kind (mass events) must stay within the framework of law. If somebody goes beyond these frameworks, the state must put things in order, and I want to emphasize that it is not a will but obligation of the government agencies. Otherwise, such development of the events may lead to chaos,” President Putin said.

The Bolotnaya Square riot case, a criminal case in connection with mass riots and resistance to police, was launched after events on May 6, 2012 when an opposition action sanctioned by the authorities grew into clashes with police. More than 400 people were detained on that day, and more than 30 policemen and several dozen people more received injuries. The Russian Investigative Committee launched a criminal case under the articles “mass disorders” and “violence against police” of the Russian Criminal Code.

Twenty-eight people are now involved in the case. Six of them are under an undertaking not to leave without permission, two are under a house arrest, two are on the international wanted list and others are in a pre-trial detention center. Three participants in the case were convicted - Mikhail Luzyanin, Konstantin Lebedev and Mikhail Kosenko, who was convicted in October and sentenced to compulsory psychiatric treatment. At least seven participants in the Bolotnaya riot case will fall under the amnesty.

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