Russian authorities have released a Ukrainian lawmaker detained in Moscow during a march in honor of murdered opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko said, though the deputy is due to appear in court on Monday on a misdemeanor charge.
Lawmaker Oleksiy Honcharenko was "on the territory of the Ukrainian Embassy in Moscow," Poroshenko said late Sunday on his Facebook page. "Just spoke with him by phone," the president added.
The release of Honcharenko — a member Ukraine's parliament and a delegate to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) — came after an earlier report that he could face charges for the attempted murder and torture of a Russian citizen during pro-Moscow demonstrations that turned deadly in Ukraine's Odessa last May.
At the time of his detention, Honcharenko was charged with disobeying police during the Sunday march. A Moscow city court will hear the case on Monday, Interfax reported, citing Honcharenko's lawyer Mark Feygin.
"The administrative charge remains," Feygin was quoted as saying, adding that the case was a "farce."
"He is a delegate to the PACE, what kind of an administrative case could there be here? We will demand that the charge be dropped," the lawyer added.
In all, police detained about 50 people participating in the Sunday march in Moscow, charging them with violating public order, Interfax reported, citing the head of the security department at City Hall, Alexei Mayorov.
Honcharenko — who was expected to appear in court for the Monday hearing, according to his lawyer — said he "did nothing" to merit the charge, RFE/RL reported.
"I wore a t-shirt with portrait of Boris Nemtsov and Ukrainian words 'heroes don't die,'" he was quoted as saying from the Ukrainian Embassy.