On Tuesday, the Russian Investigation Committee issued accusations against defendant in the criminal case over masterminding massive disorders and activist of the Left Front movement Leonid Razvozzhayev. The detectives stated that the oppositionist confessed at the interrogations that together with Left Front leader Sergei Udaltsov was involved in masterminding a coup d’etat, which Georgian politician Givi Targamadze intended to finance. Last Friday Udaltsov was summoned in the Investigation Committee to face accusations, but he did not answer the telephone calls on Tuesday.
The official accusations were brought against Left Front activist Leonid Razvozzhayev at the detention centre Lefortovo, where he had been kept since Sunday, the Kommersant daily reported. According to the Investigation Committee, the oppositionist went himself to the detectives to state about turning himself in. He is charged with Article 30 Part 1 and Article 212 Part 1 of the Criminal Code for masterminding massive disorders. According to the Investigation Committee, Razvozzhayev together with Left Front leader Sergei Udaltsov and activist of the Russian Socialist movement Konstantin Lebedev was masterminding a coup d’etat in Moscow, Kaliningrad and several other cities. Georgian deputy Givi Targamadze was to fund the disorders.
Razvozzhayev’s lawyer insists that he confessed under the tortures and was brought forcibly in Moscow. On October 19, Razvozzhayev was put on the federal wanted list and was detained by unidentified people in Kiev on the same day at the office of the nongovernmental organization HIAS, where he turned for assistance to get the status of a political refugee.
According to State Duma deputy Ilya Ponomarev, whose aide is Razvozzhayev, the activist was detained by the agents of the Russian security services and then was brought in a private airplane to Russia. The office of the Kiev office of the UN High Commissioner on Refugees, where the oppositionist was going to ask for political asylum and has already made requests in the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada, asking to settle the incident with the Left Front activist.
Lawyer of the oppositionists Violetta Volkova said that Left Front leader Sergei Udaltsov can also face arrest. According to her, he will be most likely arrested this Friday.
Deputy Ilya Ponomarev believes that Razvozzhayev’s extradition to Russia was made in an agreement between Russian and Ukrainian security services, the Moskovsky Komsomolets daily reported. “I do not understand the reasons for such haste,” Ponomarev explained. “It was possible to deny political asylum to Razvozzhayev only in the legal way. The precedents with the denial of political asylum to the activists from Russia on the part of Ukraine took place before, this procedure just could have taken several weeks. However, Razvozzhayev was brought back to Russia and was tortured most apparently.” Ponomarev noted that it was easier to go to the prison to Mikhail Khodorkovsky than to Leonid Razvozzhayev.
The human rights commissioner, the State Duma deputy and the UN commissioner engaged in a fact-finding mission over oppositionist Leonid Razvozzhayev turning himself in, the RBC daily reported. During the whole day on Tuesday contradictory reports have been coming from fellow Left Front members, and they did not convince the fellow Left Front members of the arrested that he was tortured. UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres said on Tuesday that on October 19 Razvozzhayev turned in the Kiev office of the organization, seeking for political asylum to him. During the consultations he went out in the street in the closest cafe, and subsequently the employees of the Kiev office turned to the local police. The UN commissioner threatened to Ukraine that if the country extradited the Russian oppositionist actually in violation of the international law, it may face some sanctions.
The Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily believes that Ukraine turned out on the verge of a diplomatic scandal with Russia and sanctions from the UN and the EU over a mysterious disappearance of Leonid Razvozzhayev from Kiev. Ukraine turned out to be involved in an international scandal, the newspaper reported. Now the offices of the UN and the EU, which deal with the affairs of refugees, expect explanations from Ukraine. It is needed to acknowledge that Ukraine’s sovereignty was violated and that will entail a diplomatic war with Russia. Or it is needed to state that the events were developing with the permission of the Kiev state authorities, this is tantamount to Ukraine found making violations of several international conventions,” the newspaper noted.
A Ukrainian international legal expert, who asked not to name him, explained that Ukraine violated Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which holds that each person can seek political asylum from persecution in other counties and use this political asylum. “Anyway the person came to the UN office and managed to register there. This is an absolutely another legal level, as Ukraine should respond to the international community. Moreover, the UN is implementing a special program over the protection of refugees in Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova. The European Union funds the program. Therefore, the question of legal consequences of the current situation for Ukraine as the state can arise,” the legal expert said.
Expert of the Institute of Euro-Atlantic Cooperation Vladimir Gorbach confirmed, “The response will follow. Not only the UN, but also PACE, OSCE and other EU agencies cannot refrain from comments in the situation, when the country violates the fundamental international treaties.”