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9 'Bolotnaya Case' Defendants Call Off Strike

Nine defendants in the so called Bolotnaya Case have backtracked on their earlier refusal to take part in the trial at Moscow's Zamoskvoretsky District Court.

The defendants stand accused of inciting “riots” and clashing with police at an anti-government rally on Bolotnaya Ploshchad in Moscow on May 6, 2012, a day before Vladimir Putin's inauguration for his third term as president. More than 400 people were detained at the protest.

The defendants raised objections while police officer Denis Moiseyev was being questioned in court on Tuesday. He said that he was helping to detain a man lying on the pavement during the rally when a man who he identified as Krivov shoved him.

The defence said there were discrepancies between Moiseyev's statement and evidence he had already given and demanded that his earlier testimony be read out, Novaya Gazeta reported.

However, the judge refused to present the evidence, saying that she saw no fundamental difference between Moiseyev's accounts.

The judge's decision caused outrage in court, and the bailiffs had to remove 15 people from the room for disorderly conduct. Another 15 left in protest.

One of the defendants Maria Baronova wrote on her Twitter blog that nine of the defendants would no longer participate in the trial, but they have since changed their minds, Interfax reported Wednesday.

Two participants in the disturbances have already been sentenced after pleading guilty and agreeing to cooperate with the investigation.

Maxim Luzyanin got 4 1/2 years in prison and Konstantin Lebedev was sentenced to 2 1/2 years.

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