MOSCOW, March 3 (RAPSI, Diana Gutsul) - Defendants in the Bolotnaya Square riot case, Alexei Gaskarov and Andrei Barabanov, have filed cassation appeals against their sentences for using violence against a public official, attorney Ramil Akhmetgaliyev told RAPSI on Tuesday.

Barabanov filed an appeal with the Russian Supreme Court when Gaskarov appealed to the Moscow City Court where his case is still being heard.

The defense lawyer is arguing that Gaskarov and Barabanov are being held liable for the same crime twice in violation of the law. Legal experts who reviewed the verdict agree that the sentence for using force against a public official is unlawful because the mass riot charge implies violence against officials, according to Akhmetgaliyev. This also implies that a defendant charged with participating in mass riots cannot, at the same time, be charged with using force against a public official.

Over 400 people were arrested and scores injured in the Bolotnaya Square protest that turned violent in May 2012. Dozens were later charged with inciting mass riots and using violence against law enforcement officers.

Riot organizers, Sergei Udaltsov and Leonid Razvozzhayev, were sentenced to 4.5 years in prison. Other participants received prison terms ranging from suspended sentences to four years. Several defendants were pardoned; one is undergoing compulsory mental treatment.