Sun, 25 Aug 2019

A Moscow court has remanded a member of the Yabloko opposition party to pretrial custody for two months on 'mass unrest' charges following a unauthorized July 27 rally in the capital where police used violence against protesters and detained almost 1,400 people.

The Basmanny district court ordered 20-year-old Valery Kostenok's detention until October 11 for throwing two plastic bottles at security forces during the demonstration, which was attended by several thousand Russians to protest officials who didn't register several independent and opposition candidates on the ballot for a September 8 vote to the Moscow municipal legislature.

Kostenok has admitted his guilt.

Kostenok, who collected signatures as a volunteer in favor of Moscow City Duma candidate Kirill Goncharov, became the 14th person charged in the criminal investigation authorities opened on July 31 into the protest.

The criminal probe into the demonstration was opened based on three articles of Russia's Criminal Code -- on organizing mass unrest, which carries a sentence of up to 15 years in prison; on participating in such unrest, which can be punished with up to eight years in prison; and on calling for unrest -- up to two years in prison.

The court rejected the request by Kostenok's lawyer that his client be placed under house arrest, after investigators said he could go into hiding or establish contact with other defendants.

Kostenok's lawyer, Gadzhi Aliyeva, said she would appeal the ruling.

With reporting by Current Time, Interfax, and TASS

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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