Moscow court orders release of actor Ustinov from detention
MOSCOW, September 20 (RAPSI, Kirill Ryabchikov) – The Moscow City Court on Friday ordered release of actor Pavel Ustinov from detention on travel restrictions, RAPSI reports from the courtroom.
The court granted a motion filed by the Prosecutor General’s Office for his release until appeal against his sentence for inflicting personal injury to a National Guard officer during an unauthorized rally is considered.
Russia’s ombudsman Tatiana Moskalkova, who attended the hearing, called detention of Ustinov illegal.
The defendant took part in the hearing through video link. He will be released when detention authorities receive relevant documents from the court.
Appeals against his sentence will be heard on September 26. Appeals have been filed both by the defendant and prosecution. However, prosecutors do not challenge the guilty verdict against Ustinov, they believe the sentence should be mitigated. According to the court’s press service, the Prosecutor General’s Office seeks non-custodial punishment for the actor.
On September 16, Ustinov was found guilty of inflicting personal injury to a National Guard officer when being arrested during an authorized rally and received 3.5 years behind bars.
The court delivered a lesser sentence than prosecutors sought. On September 12, a prosecutor asked the court to sentence Ustinov to 6 years in jail.
However, the defendant pleaded not guilty and appealed against the ruling.
According to investigators, the man was an active participant of the unauthorized rally in central Moscow on August 3. While being arrested he resisted a National Guard officer causing him a shoulder point closed dislocation.
Protest actions began in Moscow in mid-July after election commissions denied registration of certain opposition members as candidates for the Moscow City Duma elections reasoning that documents submitted by them contained numerous violations.
The first unauthorized rally took place hear the Moscow City Election Commission’s building on July 14 and looked like a provocation, according to law experts.
Unauthorized rallies in support of candidates seeking to become lawmakers of the Moscow State Duma but refused registration by the Election Commission were also held on July 27 and August 3 in central Moscow. Over 1,000 people were arrested for various violations as a result.
Following the 27 July rally, the Investigative Committee opened a criminal case over mass riots. Investigators believe that the protest action was held with the use of force against representatives of authority.
Several well-known opposition figures including Alexey Navalny, Dmitry Gudkov, Ilya Yashin were arrested and put in detention for alleged organization of an unauthorized rally.
On August 10, an authorized rally in support of unregistered election candidates took place in Moscow and gathered as many as 25,000 participants, according to the police statistics.