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Razvozzhayev's Siberian Jailing Upheld in Moscow Courtroom

The Moscow City Court on Monday upheld a decision to keep opposition activist Leonid Razvozzhayev in a Siberian pretrial jail until April 1.

Razvozzhayev, who was detained after a state-television exposé alleged that he plotted with a Georgian power broker to incite mass riots in Russia, has complained that his detention in the Siberian region of Irkurtsk has affected his health.

“Due to my transfer to Irkutsk, my health has seriously declined. I am now bedridden. … I seriously fear for my life,” Razvozzhayev, a leader of the Left Front opposition movement, told the court via video link.

Defense lawyer Dmitry Agranovsky told reporters after the hearing that on Thursday he would file a final package of documents with the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

“There are no legal grounds for keeping Razvozzhayev under arrest, particularly in Irkutsk. Every day spent there is a violation of his fundamental rights,” Agranovsky said. “Razvozzhayev was on the road [from Moscow to Irkutsk] for a month, during which he was subjected to inhumane treatment and nothing else.”

Razvozzhayev has been incarcerated since October, when he disappeared shortly after petitioning for asylum at a United Nations refugee agency in Kiev and then showed up in Moscow a few days later with a harrowing tale of abduction.

He said Russian authorities had kidnapped him, taken him over the border by car and tortured him into writing a multiple-page confession that he planned riots and that Left Front had received funding from influential Georgian politician Givi Targamadze.

The Investigative Committee subsequently said Razvozzhayev had traveled over the border in a taxi, turned himself in to police and written the confession of his own volition.

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