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Trial against 2 Russian suspected riot masterminds to begin on February 4

January 28, 2014, 12:30 UTC+3 MOSCOW
This is the recurrent assignment of the hearings’ date
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Sergei Udaltsov

Sergei Udaltsov

© ITAR-TASS/Anton Novoderezhkin

MOSCOW, January 28. /ITAR-TASS/. Moscow city court set on February 4 preliminary hearings of the criminal case against coordinator of the Left Front Sergei Udaltsov and aide to a deputy of State Duma lower house of parliament Leonid Razvozzhayev.

“A court session in the criminal case against Udaltsov and Razvozzhayev will be held at 11:00 Moscow time (07:00 GMT) on February 4 behind closed doors,” lawyer Violetta Volkova told Itar-Tass.

This is the recurrent assignment of the hearings’ date. Earlier, the hearings were scheduled for December 26, 2013; however, the court returned the case to the prosecutor’s office to correct the defects of the letter of accusation.

 

Defense complains about breaches

The lawyers said that “while drafting the letter of accusation, contraventions ineradicable in court were made.” “In particular, defense witnesses — Alexei Navalny, Ilya Yashin and others —were listed in the letter of accusation as witnesses for the prosecution as well, and the investigator did not specify which part of their testimonies proves the guilt of Udaltsov and Razvozzhayev.”

Another contravention is that “Udaltsov listed 87 defense witnesses, but 55 of them were not interrogated by the investigator” as may be required by law. This told the spokesperson for Moscow City Court Ulyana Solopova.

 

Criminal case based on TV documentary

Criminal proceedings against Udaltsov and Razvozzhayev over masterminding mass riots in various Russian regions had been instituted after the investigation studied the footage shown in the “Anatomy of a Protest-2” documentary that included video records of a meeting of the Russian oppositionists with Georgian politician Givi Targamadze.

The Bolotnaya case was opened after events of May 6, 2012, when an opposition rally on Bolotnaya Square, sanctioned by the authorities, escalated into clashes with police and mass disorder. More than 400 people were detained, some 30 police officers were injured and several dozen people were wounded.

Targamadze was arrested in absentia by Moscow’s Basmanny court and put on the international wanted list. Udaltsov’s assistant, Leonid Razvozzhayev, is in a pretrial detention centre, and another participant in the meeting with Targamadze, Konstantin Lebedev, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison.

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