Moscow court orders retrial on Open Russia office search
MOSCOW, August 3 (RAPSI) - The Moscow City Court has ordered a new trial over the legality of searches at the offices of the Open Russia public movement established by businessman Mikhail Khodorkovsky and several other former Yukos employees, RAPSI reports from the courtroom on Monday.
The judge thus overturned a ruling by the Basmanny District Court that found the search at the Open Russia offices legal, and ruled that the lawyer’s suit on the legality of the search be retried.
Attorney Sergei Badamshin filed a lawsuit claiming that the investigators’ activity at the Open Russia Moscow offices was unlawful. Badamshin argued that the evidence which brought investigators to the office for the search was unsubstantiated and unjustified. The documents confiscated during the search were later returned. No evidence of extremism was found, and there were no grounds for opening a criminal case.
The prosecutor’s office countered that there were no violations during the search. “We were informed that the NGO was drafting extremist materials which were stored at the office,” he commented.
Earlier, the Interior Ministry reported that the search was the result of allegations that Open Russia activists are preparing banners and leaflets calling for extremist activity.
Supposedly, the materials were prepared for distribution and a public demonstration at a potential opposition rally on April 19 of this year.