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Oppositionist Razvozzhayev is charged with banditry

November 22, 2012, 11:51 UTC+3

Razvozzhayev’s lawyer finds the accusations absurd and states about the pressure on his client

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The criminal case against Left Front activist Leonid Razvozzhayev, who is accused of masterminding massive disorders, took an unexpected turn on Wednesday. He is also accused of banditry. The detectives found that back in 1997 Razvozzhayev, who lived in Angarsk then, has stolen a video camera and 500 mint fur coats from a businessman. Razvozzhayev’s lawyer finds the accusations absurd and states about the pressure on his client.

On December 4, 1997, in Angarsk Leonid Razvozzhayev “with several accomplices, who were armed with a hunting rifle and two pistols” broke in the flat of a local businessman, stealing a video camera and 500 mint fur coats from him, the Kommersant daily quoted spokesman for the Russian Investigation Committee Vladimir Markin as saying. The damages from the burglary are estimated at 95 million non-dominated roubles. The criminal case was not passed to the court, though Leonid Razvozzhayev was identified as a burglar, the Investigation Committee stated. The detectives resumed the criminal case over a plea from an Angarsk woman in the Russian Investigation Committee that the culprits in the attack on her husband are not found yet. Markin noted that the criminal case was opened for banditry in the old 1996 version of this criminal article (this criminal article envisaged up to 12 years in prison).

The newspaper recalled that Razvozzhayev is a defendant in another high-profile criminal case. Together with oppositionist Konstantin Kosyakin and Left Front coordinator Sergei Udaltsov they are accused of the attempt at a coup d’etat in Moscow, Kaliningrad and several other Russian cities. The detectives found that member of the Georgian parliament Givi Targamadze was to fund the disorders. At first Leonid Razvozzhayev turned himself in over this criminal case, then refused from his confession, stating that he confessed in the crime under pressure. So, he claimed that unidentified agents of the security services brought him in Moscow from Kiev, where he was seeking political asylum.

Razvozzhayev’s common law wife Yulia Smirnova recalled that in the nineties of the previous century her husband and businessman Vyacheslav Skudenkov were selling the fur hats. “At some moment Skudenkov informed the police about the stealing of 500 fur hats and that Razvozzhayev is suspected of this crime. This was just personal hatred to Leonid,” she said. Brother of the oppositionist Viktor Razvozzhayev also told the Kommersant daily that Vyacheslav Skudenkov testified against his partner. Razvozzhayev’s lawyer Dmitry Agranovsky doubts that Razvozzhayev can stand trial for the burglary in 1997 at all, because “the statute of limitations was to expire or will expire soon.”

Left Front coordinator Sergei Udaltsov “is not surprised about anything in this unsound criminal case.” However, Udaltsov claimed that he is completely unaware about the events in 1997, but believes that the detectives are taking revenge against Razvozzhayev for his refusal from turning himself in, “They showed that he will not escape justice, as some more accusations may always be found against him.” The Investigation Committee stated that there is some information “about other facts of Razvozzhayev’s criminal activities,” which the detectives are investigating.

The detectives resumed the banditry criminal case against Razvozzhayev just when the statute of limitations is about to expire, the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily reported. The statute of limitations on the article of the Russian Criminal Code for banditry is ten years, but the statute of limitations (will expire on December 4, 2012) are set at 15 years for the offences under point 3 (the illegal penetration in housing) and point 4 (banditry by an organized criminal group). This is why on points 3 and 4 Razvozzhayev faces a new accusation. On these charges he can be convicted for the fur hat stealing.


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