MOSCOW, January 23 - RAPSI. Moscow City Court has ordered a lower court to reconsider an appeal filed by prominent opposition activist Sergei Udaltsov, who contests the validity of claims pending against him for allegedly having organized mass riots, the court told the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI/ on Wednesday.

Udaltsov specifically appealed the decision to launch criminal proceedings against him based on the fact that such charges arose from a documentary film that aired on a major television network.

Originally, the court reported that it was not empowered to hear Udaltsov's appeal, as the claim did not fall within its jurisdiction, and provided a list of the other courts where the appeal can be filed.

Udaltsov's lawyers viewed the decision as a violation of his right to defense.

The film, which aired on the NTV channel, which is owned by the state-run Gazprom, claims that the opposition is planning a coup.
It further alleged that the coup was being funded from abroad.

The film depicts several men meeting with then-Georgian Parliamentary Defense and Security Committee head Givi Targamadze, who is said to be experienced in planning "color" revolutions in Georgia and Ukraine, and mass riots in Belarus.

An investigation into the film established that the hidden camera used to make the film had recorded Udaltsov's voice, and the meeting took place in Minsk last June.

A criminal case was launched shortly thereafter accusing Udaltsov of having prepared to organize mass riots.

Udaltsov faces up to 10 years in prison.

The homes of the suspects have also been searched.