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3 More Bolotnaya Defendants Amnestied

An opposition march in support of prisoners. A. Astakhov / Vedomosti

Russian authorities on Monday amnestied another three defendants in the so-called Bolotnaya case over an anti-Kremlin rally in 2012 that ended in clashes between police and protesters.

The three men were detained on May 6, 2012 on suspicion of involvement in the protests, but they were not located on Bolotnaya Ploshchad, the site of the protests, at the time investigators say mass disorder broke out, RBK reported Monday.

Rikhard Sobolev, Alexander Kamensky and Oleg Arkhipenkov were detained near Ploshchad Revolyutsii where a demonstration organized by the Other Russia opposition movement was taking place.

The Investigative Committee has yet to confirm the amnesty, but lawyers for the three men said that the charges against their clients have been dropped, Russkaya Planeta reported.

Kamensky said that investigators charged him with involvement in the alleged riots, only to inform him about the amnesty decision minutes later.

Arkhipenkov and Sobolev were placed in pretrial detention for two months before being released on the condition that they agree not to leave the country.

Sobolev was charged with participating in mass disorder and attacking police, while Arkhipenkov was only charged with the first offense.

Kamensky was released soon after being detained, but was declared a suspect.

Of the remaining defendants, eight have already been amnestied, two have been sentenced to prison and another to mandatory psychiatric treatment.

Eight more are expected to be sentenced on Feb. 21.

The opposition maintains that the trial is politically motivated and that no riots actually took place at what was an authorized rally. Others say that the clashes arose because of aggressive behavior by riot police.

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