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Cuban Extradition Leads to Arrest for Anti-Gay Russian Vigilante

A photo published on Dec. 25 by Martsinkevich denouncing the "unconventional" trial against him.

Police have arrested the fugitive neo-Nazi leader of an anti-gay vigilante group after he was extradited from Cuba for breaking the country's immigration laws, a Russian police official said.

Cuban law-enforcement officers had put Maxim Martsinkevich, the leader of the radical right-wing movement "Occupy Pedophilia," on a flight departing from Havana to Moscow on Monday, after ruling that he had stayed in their country for more than 30 days without a visa, a Russian law-enforcement official said, Interfax reported.

Russian police seized him after the flight landed in Moscow, the unidentified official said. An Interior Ministry spokesman confirmed the arrest.

Martsinkevich's lawyer Alexei Mikhalchik said that he had "expected" the deportation to take place "any day now," following Cuba's announcement that Martsinkevich had been in the country illegally, and that an arrest in Moscow was a likely outcome.

Russian citizens can stay in Cuba for 30 days without a visa, but a Cuban diplomat has said that Martsinkevich had no valid identification documents when police detained him earlier this month, and that investigators suspected him of having overstayed the 30-day period.

"The pedo-lobby will hold a celebratory orgy today. Maxim has been detained," a message on Martsinkevich's Vkontakte page read, including bank details for donations to his defense.

Martsinkevich, who is also known as Tesak, or machete, said on his social network page in November that he had fled Russia to escape possible prosecution for a video in which he humiliated and beat a gay Iraqi man.

Martsinkevich's "Occupy Pedophilia" vigilante group has made headlines by luring gay men to abusive meetings with false promises of sex with minors. The abusive encounters were recorded and then posted online.

On Jan. 17, the Cuban police seized him for supposedly breaking immigration laws, news reports said.

A Moscow City Court had earlier arrested Martsinkevich in absentia on extremism chargers — a verdict that meant he would be arrested as soon as he set foot on Russian soil.

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