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Police Accuse Kasparov of Biting Officer

Footage of scenes outside the courthouse Friday, when the Pussy Riot rockers were sentenced. Former chess champion Garry Kasparov was among those detained.

Former world chess champion and opposition leader Garry Kasparov faces a prison term for allegedly biting a policeman at a rally in support of the Pussy Riot band members.

Kasparov, 49, denied biting anyone, and e-mailed a statement to The Moscow Times on Sunday with photos and a link to video footage of the arrest.

"Unfortunately, having all the evidence in the world on my side will not help me in a Moscow courtroom," Kasparov said in the statement. "The sentencing of the members of Pussy Riot to two years in prison for an anti-Putin prank is only the latest demonstration that the rule of law in Putin's Russia begins and ends in the Kremlin, and not with our Constitution."

Kasparov was grabbed by the police Friday outside the court building as he was giving an interview to Radio Liberty on the Pussy Riot trial going on inside.

A YouTube video showed a group of policemen seizing a resisting Kasparov by the arms and tossing him into a police bus. According to the police, Kasparov resisted the arrest by biting one of the officer's hands. The accusations were denied by the chess champion, who suggested that the policeman could have been bitten by a dog.

"Moscow police is ready to conduct an expertise comparing Kasparov's teeth to those of the police dogs," a police spokesman told Interfax.

Kasparov, who was among more than 97 demonstrators detained Friday, was summoned for questioning on Monday in connection with the incident, his spokesman said. He faces charges of assaulting a police officer, which carries punishment of up to five years in prison.

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