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Journalist Romanova Fined $34 for Refusing Judge's Orders

Prominent journalist and opposition activist Olga Romanova was fined 1,000 rubles ($34) on Friday after refusing to leave a Moscow courthouse earlier in the day.

Romanova had gone to the Zoologichesky Court in Moscow to obtain a court-ordered writ certifying that she was an advocate for her jailed husband, businessman Alexei Kozlov, who was sentenced last week in a high-profile appeal trial to five years in prison for fraud and money-laundering. The document would allow Romanova to visit Kozlov at his detention center, since she cannot yet visit him in her capacity as his wife, Gazeta.ru reported.

On her Facebook page, Romanova wrote that she asked Zoologichesky Court chief Yevgeny Naidyonov to issue her the document, to which he responded: "What do I have to do with that?" Romanova then refused to leave the courthouse and was charged with an administrative offense for not following a judge's orders.

Court spokeswoman Olga Sutyapova told news agency Rapsi that Romanova had "made a fuss and did not react to multiple comments by police officers." Sutyapova said the document Romanova was requesting had been issued to Kozlov's lawyer Yury Kostanov on March 13.

A hearing was held Friday evening, at which Romanova was found guilty of the offense and given a 1,000 ruble fine, she wrote on Facebook.

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