MOSCOW, April 14 (RAPSI) – The Moscow City Court has postponed the hearing of an appeal against a 4-year sentence of activist Konstantin Kotov for repeated violations of a rally holding order until April 16, according to a statement of the court’s press service.
At the next hearing the court will consider motions to watch some videos and question witnesses, the statement reads.
In early March, the Second Cassation Court of General Jurisdiction returned the case of Kotov to a lower court. The Moscow City Court’s ruling against Kotov was overturned, the court was orderd ordered to reconsider the matter by another bench.
Kotov is to stay in detention until May 2.
Moscow’s Tverskoy District Court convicted and sentenced Kotov to 4 years in jail in September. A month later, the Moscow City Court upheld the verdict. He filed a cassation appeal against the ruling.
Moreover, in February, Russia’s Prosecutor General’s Office petitioned to reduce Kotov’s sentence up to 1 year. According to attorney Sergey Golubok, prosecutors believe that the 4-year term given to Kotov is “illegal and disproportionate”.
Investigators claim, 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 claimed that his actions had an intentional nature.
Kotov pleaded not guilty. His defense insisted that there were no elements of a crime in his actions.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.