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Manezh Square Riot Suspects Appear in Court


A Moscow court ruled Thursday that prosecutors had sufficient evidence to proceed to trial in the case of five people accused of inciting violence during December’s rioting on Manezh Square, RIA-Novosti reported.

At the closed-door preliminary hearing, the Tverskaya District Court also extended the pretrial detention of the suspects — Leonid Panin and Alexander Kozevin and Other Russia members Igor Berezyuk, Kirill Unchuk and Ruslan Khubayev — until Jan. 26, the report said.

The five are charged with hooliganism, inciting mass unrest and assaulting a government official.

Berezyuk is also charged with inciting hatred during the rioting.

On Dec. 11, five days after the shooting death of a FC Spartak fan during a clash between football fans and North Caucasus natives in Moscow, some 5,000 football fans and nationalists staged a violent demonstration on Manezh Square, just outside the Kremlin walls.

The five suspects have insisted that they were not involved in the rioting, which injured 32 people.

Eduard Limonov, leader of The Other Russia opposition movement, wrote on his LiveJournal blog that the court proceedings were a “total lie” because the witnesses were mostly police officers.

“To our knowledge, the authorities have already determined their prison terms: Berezyuk will get eight years, Khubayev — four, and Unchuk — three. Their only crime was being a member of The Other Russia,” he said.

The next hearing will take place Aug. 18.

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