MOSCOW, December 6 (RAPSI) – Moscow’s Meshchansky District Court on Friday gave a 2-year suspended sentence to Vladimir Yemelyanov, charged with using force against law enforcement officers during an unauthorized rally held in Moscow on July 27, RAPSI reports from the courtroom.

The court ordered immediate release of the defendant.

A prosecutor earlier demanded a 4-year prison term for him, while defense insisted on acquittal.

Investigators claimed that Yemelyanov committed illegal actions against a law enforcement officer. He allegedly coerced the officer obstructing performance of his duties.

The defendant 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 activists have been already convicted and sentenced. Prosecution of five defendants has been dropped.