Bolotnoye Suspect Freed Under Amnesty

A Moscow court on Thursday amnestied a defendant in an ongoing trial over alleged riots that took place on Bolotnaya Ploshchad in May 2012.

The ruling of the Zamoskvoretsky District Court, which canceled travel restrictions imposed on 22-year-old activist Dmitry Altaychinov, will take effect within 10 days as envisaged by law.

The court had acted on a defense plea that was supported by prosecutors, Interfax reported.

Investigators had charged Altaychinov with taking part in the riots at the 2012 opposition rally, saying he threw plastic bottles full of water at a police cordon. He had faced up to five years in prison on those charges.

Altaychinov was one of 28 suspects in several criminal cases opened into alleged riots at the authorized rally, which was attended by tens of thousands of people and abruptly turned violent, resulting in more than 400 detentions.

Since December, five other suspects have had charges against them dropped under a Kremlin amnesty approved by the State Duma last year.

Two of the 28 suspects — Konstantin Lebedev and Maxim Luzyanin — were sentenced to prison terms of 2 1/2 and 4 1/2 years, respectively. A third suspect, Mikhail Kosenko, was sentenced to mandatory psychiatric treatment, but the ruling has not taken effect because it has been appealed. Kosenko will remain in detention until the appeal is considered.  

Thirteen remain in pretrial detention and two under house arrest, including Left Front leader Sergei Udaltsov. Five suspects have had travel restrictions imposed on them and one emigrated.

Opposition leaders and human rights activists, both in Russia and abroad, have blamed the violence that erupted during the May 2012 rally on the police, saying they left little room for protesters to move around the area.  Many have also blamed unidentified provocateurs, saying they were the ones who attacked police.

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