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Two oppositionists accused of organizing unrest at rally

June 20, 2013, 11:07 UTC+3

Investigation Committee of Russia instituted criminal proceedings against Sergei Udaltsov and other persons on October 17, 2012

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The Investigation Committee of Russia (SKR) on Wednesday at last brought a final charge against Sergei Udaltsov, leader of the Left Front, and his associate Leonid Razvozzhayev, accusing them of organizing mass unrest at the Bolotnaya Square rally on May 6, 2012. The SKR imputes to them the exercise of direction of protesters who scuffled with police during the March of Millions. The accused are now facing up to ten years of deprivation of freedom.

On Wednesday, a charge was officially brought against Sergei Udaltsov, coodinator of the Left Front, in connection with the case concerning the Bolotnaya Square unrest, Izvestia writes. Udaltsov is accused under Article 212, Part 1, of the Penal Code of the Russian Federation ("Arrangements for a mass unrest accompanied with violence, rampaging, arson, destruction of property, the use of firearms, explosive substances or explosive devices, as well as an armed resistance to representative of authorities"), a Left Front source told Izvestia.

An accusation was also brought against Leonid Razvozzhayev. His defence lawyer Leonid Agranovsky told Izvestia that Article 212, Part 1, of the Penal Code of the RF ("Arrangements for a mass unrest") had been added in the final wording to those articles, a guilt under which was imputed to his client. Earlier the oppositionist was accused of only preparing such arrangements.

Such changes may tell on a possible punishment for Leonid Razvozzhayev. This constitutes a whole new episode. Penalty under this article implies deprivation of freedom for up to ten years", Agranovsky added.

The SKR instituted criminal proceedings against Sergei Udaltsov and other persons on October 17, 2012, following a probe into facts from the film "Anatomy of Protest - 2", which had been released on NTV on October 5, the newspaper recalls. In particular, it is asserted in the film that oppsitionists intended to effect an armed seizure of power on money from abroad. On December 13, the SKR officially confirmed that the investigation had evidence of the financing of Russian oppositionists by Georgian politician Givi Targamadze, and proofs of his involvement in arrangements for a mass unrest in Moscow.

In the final wording of the charge, Razvozzhayev is accused of participating in arranging the mass unrest on May 6, 2012, writes Kommersant. This means that SKR personnel have collected a sufficient amount of proofs for referring the case to law-court. The investigation version has it that during the March of Millions sanctioned by authorities, it was precisely Razvozzhayev who was in charge of coordinating the activists who were to clash with police.

The newspaper points out that neither Sergei Udaltsov nor Leonid Razvozzhayev plead guilty. "I am sure the case will be referred to law-court shortly, and a sentence will be read out before (this year's) autumn. The authorities decided to make use of the summertime decline in protest activity in order to finalize all scandalous cases as soon as possible," Agranovsky told the newspaper. His opinion is that antifascist Alexei Gaskarov, arrested in April, may find himself in the dock along with his client Udaltsov.

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