MOSCOW, January 23 (RAPSI) – Moscow’s Simonovsky District Court will continue to hear a 4.3-million-ruble lawsuit filed by the Interior Ministry’s Moscow Main Directorate against organizers of unauthorized summer rallies on February 13, according to a RAPSI correspondent.

The defendants are expected to give their testimony at the next hearing.

The plaintiff seeks to collect about 4.3 million rubles (about $70,000) from opposition figures Alexey Navalny, Ilya Yashin, Lyubov Sobol, Vladimir Milov, Georgy Alburov, Alexander Solovyev and Oleg Stepanov.

Police insist that the said funds were spent to enhance security during illegal rallies in central Moscow.

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.