News / Europe

Russian Court Keeps Activist in Custody

A bailiff stands next to a screen with a live broadcast of opposition activist Leonid Razvozzhayev's appeal at a Moscow court hearing, November 7, 2012.
A bailiff stands next to a screen with a live broadcast of opposition activist Leonid Razvozzhayev's appeal at a Moscow court hearing, November 7, 2012.
VOA News
A Russian Court has upheld a decision to keep in custody an opposition activist who said he was kidnapped in Ukraine and forced to confess to plotting a coup.

The Moscow City Court Wednesday rejected a complaint filed by Leonid Razvozzhayev's lawyers to cancel a lower court decision to keep him in pre-trial detention.

Razvozzhayev said the criminal case against him was a political act of "provocation."

Razvozzhayev has said that he was abducted in late October by masked men in Kyiv, where he had been seeking asylum. He said he was taken across the Russian border and held in a building for several days, where he was tortured into confessing to plotting mass riots against Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In a related development, a separate Russian regional court has rejected an appeal of anti-Putin activist Taisiya Osipova, who was sentenced to eight years in prison for drug possession.

Osipova is the wife of Sergei Fomchenkov, a leader of the nationalist opposition party, Other Russia.

Police said they caught her during a sting operation and found drugs in her home. Supporters said she was framed.

The case has drawn international condemnation, and in January Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said her initial 10-year sentence was too harsh. In her August retrial, prosecutors asked her to serve four years, but the judge instead handed down an eight-year sentence.   

Russian human rights groups and international observers have condemned a growing crackdown on opponents of President Putin.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

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Comment Sorting
by: Gennady from: Russia, Volga Region
November 07, 2012 8:54 PM
Just in Putin’s Russia gross violation of law by kidnapping Mr Razvozzhayev, bringing him into “confession” may be portrayed as act of justice. But the regime never minds. The same is with Udaltsov, Pussy Riot, Taisiya Osipova and others. The regime “wins” court cases but has lost trust of grassroots’ Russians, international community and even former Putin’s allies. Witnessing all this high profile lawlessness, Russia has come to a standstill, plunged into spiral of violence, blasts and suicides. The ‘divine’ support of Mr Putin turned to be evil.

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