Putin: amnesty for Bolotnaya Square riot defendants in court’s hands
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MOSCOW, December 19 (RAPSI) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said during his annual Q&A session with journalists on Thursday that only a court can define the roles of the defendants in the Bolotnaya Square riot case, along with the possibility of their amnesty.
“If the court finds that some people organized the riots and others used force against police it will deliver a proper judgment,” Putin said.
Only the court can decide if the defendants have violated the law, he added.
Concerning the possibility of amnesty for some of the convicted Bolotnaya Square rioters, Putin repeated that the amnesty must not apply to individuals who committed crimes against law enforcement agents.
The State Duma on Tuesday passed in the first reading an amnesty bill submitted by Putin. The amnesty was arranged to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Constitution of the Russian Federation.
On Wednesday, the document was published on Russia’s official legal information website, thus having officially taken effect.
Over 400 people were arrested and scores were injured in the protest on Bolotnaya Square that turned violent on the eve of President Vladimir Putin’s inauguration to a third presidential term in May 2012. Dozens of participants were later charged with inciting mass riots and using violence against law enforcement representatives.