MOSCOW, September 30 (RAPSI) – Experts note a trend towards an increase in the number of dropped cases over insults aimed at Russia’s state symbols and authorities.

According to Stanislav Seleznev, a lawyer with the international advocacy group Agora, more than two thirds of such cases – 17 out of 45 – have been already dropped. Moreover, five cases are at the stage of litigation and also can be dropped. This trend became especially clear by the end of the first six months of the year, the lawyer says.

The statistics, available to Seleznev, show that slightly over 50% of such cases resulted in fines, making altogether 675,000 rubles (about $10,500 at the present exchange rate); almost half of those charged admitted guilt.

In the first six months of the year courts dropped eight cases, three of them on the basis of expiry of periods of limitations; four cases were sent back to the police. Yet another five cases were closed even before being submitted to courts; five cases are currently at the stage of litigation, Seleznev noted.

A study demonstrates that the most cases related to insults aimed at the state symbols and authorities have been registered in the Arkhangelsk region, where seven such cases (15.5% of the total) were launched this summer.

Practically no political activists or public persons are found among the citizens brought to responsibility, the study notes.