MOSCOW, September 23 (RAPSI) – The Presidential Council for Human Rights has asked Moscow Prosecutor Denis Popov to pay attention to the criminal case of actor Pavel Ustinov, who had been earlier found guilty of inflicting bodily harm to law enforcement officer during an unauthorized rally, according to the Council’s press-service.

The Council, the statement reads, has for a long time followed the developments in so-called “Moscow Case” launched to bring to criminal responsibility participants of unauthorized protest rallies; in this respect the body has been extremely concerned with the fact that Ustinov was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison for use of violence against a representative of authority. 

Human rights advocates believe the court unreasonably refused to examine and admit as evidence the video of Ustinov’s arrest, what resulted in the exclusion of the adversarial character of the juridical process, as the record, according to the statement, clearly showed that the apprehension of Ustinov was totally unsubstantiated and that he was arbitrary chosen by National Guard officers although not taking part in the protest, not chanting any slogans, not behaving aggressively, and not resisting them.

The Council welcomes the prosecution’s initiative to mitigate the restrictive measures applied to Ustinov; nevertheless, it deems the measure to be inadequate, as in Ustinov’s case, the Council believes, there are no grounds for a criminal case and the sentence given to the man should have been quashed.

On September 16, Ustinov was found guilty of inflicting personal injury to a National Guard officer when being arrested during an authorized rally and received 3.5 years behind bars. However, the defendant pleaded not guilty and appealed against the ruling.

According to investigators, the man was an active participant of the unauthorized rally in central Moscow on August 3. While being arrested he resisted a National Guard officer causing him a shoulder point closed dislocation.

In its statement, the Council also asks the Moscow Prosecutor to pay attention to the case of Konstantin Kotov, sentenced to 4 years in prison for repeated violation of the rules governing rallies.