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Moscow courts sentence multiple activists to years in prison for protest-related activities (story updated)
On September 3, courts sentenced three suspects in the so-called “Moscow Case” to multiple years in prison for crimes allegedly committed at unpermitted opposition rallies in the city. Vladislav Sinitsa was sentenced to five years for tweeting about the children of law-enforcement officials; Ivan Podkopaev was sentenced to three years for pepper-spraying two National Guard troops; and Danil Beglets was sentenced to two years in prison for shoving a police officer.
At the same time, the Investigative Committee dropped its rioting charges against another six activist suspects, closing the cases against Egor Zhukov, Sergey Abanichev, Daniil Konon, Valery Kostenyok, Vladislav Barabanov, and Dmitry Vasiliev. (One of these suspects — Valery Kostenyok — had even confessed to the rioting charges during his interrogation.) All five men could still be charged with misdemeanor offenses, however.
State investigators also requested the transfer of another two suspects — Egor Zhukov and Sergey Fomin — from pretrial detention centers to house arrest. Before dropping the rioting charges against Zhukov, officials opened a new felony case against him, saying he used his YouTube channel to incite extremism (which he denies). Additionally, a court jailed Nikita Chirtsov for two months for allegedly attacking a police officer.
At the time of this writing, three “Moscow Case” hearings are still underway against the suspects Evgeny Kovalenko, Konstantin Kotov, and Kirill Zhukov.
Update (September 4): Kirill Zhukov has been sentenced to three years in prison for slapping a National Guardsman's helmet visor. Prosecutors requested 4.5 years in prison. Zhukov denies the charges. Evgeny Kovalenko has been sentenced to 3.5 years in prison for allegedly shoving one police officer and throwing a trash can at another. Prosecutors requested five years.
Update (September 5): Konstantin Kotov has been sentenced to four years in prison for repeatedly violating prohibitions on unpermitted public assemblies (the so-called “Dadin Statute,” named after Ildar Dadin, the activist sentenced in December 2015 to three years in prison for repeated anti-government street protests).
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