MOSCOW, February 27 (RAPSI) – Moscow’s Simonovsky District Court on Thursday ordered that the Russian Interior Ministry be joined as a third party to a 6-million-ruble (over $90,000) lawsuit filed by the Moscow police directorate against organizers of the summer August 3 rally Lyubov Sobol and Georgy Alburov, RAPSI reported from the courtroom.

The next hearing is scheduled for March 16.

The Moscow directorate of the Interior Ministry seeks to recover over 6 million rubles from the opposition figures. According to the plaintiff, the said funds were spent for security upgrade during the illegal rally in central Moscow and purchase of combustive and lubricating materials for police.

The defendants object to the claim believing that its amount is excessive and unproven.

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.