Activist sentenced to 4 years for repeated violations at rallies
MOSCOW, September 5 (RAPSI) – Moscow’s Tverskoy District Court on Thursday found activist Konstantin Kotov guilty of repeated violations of a rally holding order and sentenced him to 4 years behind bars, RAPSI reported from the courtroom.
A prosecutor earlier demanded a 4.5-year prison term for Kotov.
According to investigators, the man, who was repeatedly brought to administrative liability for breaking an order of public events in the last 180 days, recently took part in an unauthorized protest action ignoring police demands to stop illegal actions.
Investigative authorities believe that his actions have an intentional nature.
Kotov pleaded not guilty.
Protest actions began in Moscow in mid-July after election commissions denied registration of certain opposition members as candidates for the Moscow City Duma elections reasoning that documents submitted by them contained numerous violations.
The first unauthorized rally took place hear the Moscow City Election Commission’s building on July 14 and looked like a provocation, according to law experts.
Unauthorized rallies in support of candidates seeking to become lawmakers of the Moscow State Duma but refused registration by the Election Commission were also held on July 27 and August 3 in central Moscow. Over 1,000 people were arrested for various violations as a result.
Following the 27 July rally, the Investigative Committee opened a criminal case over mass riots. Investigators believe that the protest action was held with the use of force against representatives of authority.
Several well-known opposition figures including Alexey Navalny, Dmitry Gudkov, Ilya Yashin were arrested and put in detention for alleged organization of an unauthorized rally.
On August 10, an authorized rally in support of unregistered election candidates took place in Moscow and gathered as many as 25,000 participants, according to the police statistics.