Activists' Homes Searched in Riots Case
- By Jonathan Earle
- Dec. 12 2012 00:00
- Last edited 21:39
Investigators searched the apartments of three opposition activists Tuesday in connection with a criminal case into an alleged plot by top protest leaders to instigate riots across Russia.
Investigators seized documents and electronic storage devices relevant to the case against leftist opposition leaders Sergei Udaltsov, Leonid Razvozzhayev and Konstantin Lebedev, the Investigative Committee said in a statement Tuesday.
The activists — Taisia Alexandrova, Anna Kornilova and Yury Nabutovsky — were also brought in for questioning, although Nabutovsky, of the Solidarity movement, exercised his constitutional right to avoid self-incrimination, Interfax reported.
Investigators said the activists attended a training session in Lithuania this spring on staging "color revolutions" that was part of the plot. Materials seized at their apartments could help establish the identity of other conspirators, the statement said.
Udaltsov, who was also questioned Tuesday, told Interfax that he had never met the three activists. Udaltsov, Razvozzhayev and Lebedev are accused of collaborating with a senior Georgian politician to plot riots throughout Russia.
Accusations first surfaced in October in an exposé on state-controlled television that included a scene purportedly showing the three receiving money and tips from Givi Targamadze, former head of the Georgian parliament's defense committee and a close ally of President Mikheil Saakashvili.
Udaltsov has said that the footage is fake and that he has never met Targamadze, but investigators said Tuesday that they had evidence that Udaltsov and others had received funds from Targamadze.
The opposition leaders face up to a decade in prison if they are charged with and convicted of planning riots in Moscow and other regions.
Udaltsov and Razzvozhayev are members of the opposition's 45-member Coordination Council. A Moscow court extended Lebedev's arrest Tuesday, Interfax reported.
Meanwhile, a member of the radical Other Russia movement was briefly detained Tuesday after several activists from the group lighted red flares and unfurled a banner near Red Square. The banner read "Free political prisoners!" according to Other Russia's Twitter blog.