Jailed opposition activist Leonid Razvozzhayev rescinded his confession to plotting mass riots at a Wednesday hearing, saying he was "tortured" into writing it.
"I was abducted and tortured into a confession where I was forced to defame [opposition leaders] Alexei Navalny and Sergei Udaltsov," he said in comments carried by Interfax. "I am incarcerated because for many years I have been fighting so that Russia would be free, without crooks and thieves."
The Moscow City Court ruled that Razvozzhayev's detention was legal and declined a request for his release after the prosecutor insisted that "the conditions due to which the current measure of incarceration was chosen have not changed."
Razvozzhayev denounced the case as a political frame-up against the opposition and pleaded for the court to protect his wife and children because his abductors had threatened to kill them.
The defense asked the court to consider documents that they said proved Razvozzhayev was abducted in Ukraine while seeking asylum at a UN refugee office.
A criminal case against Left Front members Razvozzhayev, Udaltsov and Konstantin Lebedev was opened in mid-October due to allegations made in the state television documentary, "Anatomy of a Protest 2," which purportedly showed them plotting riots with the former head of the Georgian parliament's defense committee, Givi Targamadze.