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Russia Extends Prison For Dissident Accused of Plotting Riots

  • VOA News

Leonid Razvozzhayev speaks at an undisclosed location in this undated photo provided by Associated Press Television News.

Leonid Razvozzhayev speaks at an undisclosed location in this undated photo provided by Associated Press Television News.

A court in Russia has extended the detention of a Russian opposition activist who claims he was kidnapped and tortured in jail.

Moscow's Basmanny District Court ruled Wednesday that Leonid Razvozzhayev should remain in jail until April for investigation on charges of plotting mass riots.

Prosecutors have charged Razvozzhayev and two other dissidents, Sergey Udaltsov and Konstantin Lebedev with meeting officials from Georgia to plot mass riots.

Investigators also want him to be sent to Siberia as part of a 15-year-old investigation into the theft of 500 fur hats.

Officials say Razzvozhayev turned himself in last October, but he says he was kidnapped in Ukraine and brought to Russia by unidentified men who forced him to sign a false confession on the riot charges, which he later retracted.

He was subsequently charged with the hat theft and crossing into Ukraine illegally.

In court Wednesday, Razzvozhayev claimed he recognized one of the men who tortured him, but the court took no action.

Opposition activists say the charges against Razvozzhayev are part of the government crackdown on dissent.
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