Opposition members plead not guilty to provoking riots in Moscow
MOSCOW, June 20 (RAPSI) - Opposition members Sergei Udaltsov and Leonid Razvozzhayev, who were charged on Wednesday with planning the May 2012 riots on Bolotnaya Square in central Moscow, say they are not guilty, the Investigative Committee reported.
"Razvozzhayev and Udaltsov have been interrogated; both say they are not guilty and both refused to give testimony. The investigation into their case will continue," the statement says.
A criminal case was opened against the two opposition leaders after a Russian TV channel broadcast a documentary film titled Anatomy of Protest.
The documentary claimed that the opposition was organizing a coup using foreign funds. The film shows Udaltsov and his companions allegedly talking with Givi Targamadze, then head of Georgia's parliamentary defense and security committee, who is said to have contributed to planning the "color" revolutions in Georgia and Ukraine, as well as mass riots in Belarus.
Last October the Russian Investigative Committee placed Razvozzhayev on the federal wanted list. He applied for political asylum in Ukraine, when he mysteriously disappeared after leaving the UNHCR office, and ended up in the custody of the Russian police. The Investigative Committee later reported that Razvozzhayev came to them on his own accord, declaring that he wanted to confess.
Razvozzhayev himself later claimed that he had confessed under coercion and that he had been tortured.
He faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of involvement in planning the May 6 riots when police clashed with protesters on the eve of Vladimir Putin's inauguration to his third presidential term.
Similar charges were later filed against Left Front coordinator Sergei Udaltsov, lawyer Nikolai Polozov told RAPSI.