Opposition activist gets 2.5 years for planning May 6 riots
MOSCOW, April 25 (RAPSI, Anna Shubina) - The Moscow City Court has sentenced Konstantin Lebedev to 2.5 years in prison for organizing mass riots on Bolotnaya Square in Moscow on May 6, 2012, RAPSI reports from the courtroom on Thursday.
Lebedev pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with the investigation.
The court rules that Lebedev helped to organize the riots that resulted in violence, arson and destruction of property. The other individuals involved in the case have not been named, but referred to as "the first accomplice," "the second accomplice," "an opposition movement leader," "an assistant to a State Duma member," and "unidentified persons."
The judge only mentioned Givi Targamadze, a Georgian politician who allegedly sponsored the riots. Lebedev managed the funds and assigned a monetary reward to himself and his accomplices. He also rented a flat for covert meetings and bought an Audi A6 and an Opel for his conspirators.
According to the verdict, Lebedev engaged as many participants as possible in the unauthorized rally in hope the rally would become hostile. The crowd subsequently broke through a police cordon, clashed with police and used portable toilets as barricades.
The mass riots took place at a Moscow protest rally on the eve of Vladimir Putin's inauguration last May for a third presidential term. The rally ended in violent clashes between protesters and the police. Over 400 people were arrested and scores were injured when protesters briefly broke through police lines in a bid to take their protest to the Kremlin walls.
The case was inititated after the "Anatomy of Protest 2" documentary film was shown on the NTV broadcasting network. The film claimed that the opposition was organizing a coup using funds from abroad and showed Left Front movement coordinator Udaltsov and his companions allegedly talking with Targamadze, who at the time headed Georgia's Parliamentary Defense and Security Committee, and is said to have been involved in planning the "color" revolutions in Georgia and Ukraine, as well as the mass riots in Belarus.