MOSCOW, March 30. /TASS/. The Moscow City Court has found legal the 15-day administrative arrest of opposition figurehead Aleksey Navalny for resistance to police at the moment of his detention at an unauthorized action of protest in Moscow last weekend, TASS reports.
"The ruling of the court of first instance shall stay in effect and appeal by Navalny’s defense turned down," the judge said.
Testimonies by Navalny and police
"I was participating in a legal demonstration. I committed no wrongdoing. I was walking along the pavement. Uniformed police ran up to me. They did not introduce themselves, they did not demand anything. They just grabbed me and dragged away," Navalny said.
Policeman Sergey Golovkov, who participated in Navalny’s detention, dismissed Navalny’s claims.
"I made a warning. I demanded he should stop participation in an unauthorized protest action. He pushed me away and started waving his arms and legs," the policeman said.
The court studied a video recording of Navalny’s detention presented by the defense. The judge said the full picture of the events could not be seen in the video. She took a critical attitude to Navalny’s statements and found no contradictions in policemen’s testimonies.
"The selected punishment matches the seriousness of the wrongdoing," the judge said.
Lawyer Olga Mikhailova said she would appeal the verdict in the European Court of Human Rights.
More than 600 people were detained during an unauthorized protest demonstration in the center of Moscow on April 26, the city’s regional security department said. Earlier, the organizers of the rally denied the Moscow authorities’ proposal for holding the demonstration in Moscow’s Sokolniki part or in the neighborhood of Maryino. Opposition organizations held the demonstration in the center of Moscow without coordination with the Moscow authorities.
Navalny was detained for refusing to leave the protest action and for offering resistance. A court fined him 20,000 rubles for organizing an unauthorized demonstration in Tverskaya Street and sentenced him to a 15-day arrest for resistance to police.
Earlier, Navalny was handed a suspended prison term in the Yves Rocher fraud case. Now that he has committed administrative abuse law enforcers may request the suspended sentence be replaced with a real one.