ST. PETERSBURG, February 10 (RAPSI, Mikhail Telekhov) – Russia’s Constitutional Court on Friday held that a case against Russian activist Ildar Dadin, sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for numerous violations of protest laws, must be reviewed, RAPSI reports from the courtroom.

The court considered an appeal filed by Russian activist Ildar Dadin, the first person convicted under the Criminal Code’s Article on repeated violations committed during rallies.

The Constitutional Court explained that criminal punishment for such violations must be comparable to public danger caused by an offense.

The court held that if a violation committed by a person, who earlier, within 180 days, had been held administratively liable minimum thrice, did not result in infliction or real threat of causing harm and was technically illegal, it cannot be qualified as an act posing a risk to the public and create criminal liability.

The Criminal Code’s Article stipulating punishment for repeated violations committed during rallies should be strictly used in cases when violations are confirmed by effective court rulings on imposing administrative penalty.

Moreover, courts are to prove person’s criminal intent to commit violations, according to the Constitutional Court’s ruling.

Therefore, court orders regarding Ildar Dadin are to be reviewed.

Legal constitutional interpretation of the challenged Article’s provisions defined by Russia’s Constitutional Court is compulsory for executors of law. Lawmakers were ordered by the court to adjust the Criminal Code’s clause.

However, the contested Article of Russia’s Criminal Code was declared not contradictory to the Constitution.

Dadin was convicted and sentenced on December 7, 2015. Initially he received a 3-year prison term. The Moscow City Court later reduced the sentence to 2.5 years.

According to case papers, Dadin was arrested five times during rallies held between August 2014 and January 2015. Administrative proceedings were instituted against Dadin in all cases and he was fined. A criminal case was opened against him for participating in four meetings.

The convict in his application asked the Constitutional Court to recognize the Criminal Code’s Article on repeated violations of determined arrangement procedure or holding of meetings or rallies as contrary to law to the extent “it fails to meet the requirements of adequacy of rights’ restrictions.”  This includes, among other matters, possibility of being indicted for breaching established rules for holding peaceful rallies on grounds of frequency of such violations. Dadin also complained that this clause stipulates prison sentence for actions not resulted in harm to health or property and not endangered citizens and natural environment.