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Moscow court releases Russian jailed oppositionist Lebedev on parole

April 24, 2014, 13:34 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Konstantin Lebedev sentenced last year to 2.5 years in prison on charges of organizing mass riots
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Konstantin Lebedev

Konstantin Lebedev

© ITAR-TASS/Sergei Bobylev

MOSCOW, April 24. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian oppositionist Konstantin Lebedev, sentenced last year to 2.5 years in prison on charges of organizing mass riots, has been released on parole following a ruling of the Moscow Lefortovo Court on Thursday.

“The court ruled that an appeal from Lebedev’s lawyers to release their client on parole has been legally grounded and therefore decided to meet the appeal,” Margarita Kotova, a judge with the Moscow Lefortovo Court, said.

Russia’s Investigative Committee announced in February that riots in downtown Moscow’s Bolotnaya Square in 2012 inflicted losses worth 28 million rubles (around $784,700).

A court trial on mass riots on Bolotnaya Square was launched after events on May 6, 2012, when an opposition rally sanctioned by the municipal authorities, turned into clashes with police. Over 400 people were detained for violations of law, more than 30 police officers were injured.

The case was initiated under the Russian Criminal Code’s Article 212 on mass riots and Article 318 on use of violence against representatives of authorities. Some 30 people were involved in the case. Criminal charges against 11 of them were dropped as a result of a presidential amnesty timed to the 20th anniversary of the Russian Constitution in December 2013.

Prosecutors claimed that Lebedev together with two other opposition activists, Leonid Razvozhayev and Sergei Udaltsov, conspired with Georgian politician Givi Targamadze to mastermind riots in Moscow and other Russian cities. Lebedev pleaded guilty.

Prosecutors also claimed that Targamadze provided funding to organize protests against the Russian authorities.

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 Targamadze.

Moscow’s Basmanny court earlier sanctioned the arrest of Targamadze in absentia and put him on the international wanted list.

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