Moscow prosecutors reportedly want Pavel Ustinov released from jail. His prison sentence has sparked new protests.
Moscow’s District Attorney has asked the City Court to release Pavel Ustinov from a detention center before his appeal is heard on September 23, lawyer Anatoly Kucherena confirmed to the news agency Interfax. The court is expected to rule on the request on Friday, September 20. The district attorney wants Ustinov released on his own recognizance.
On his Telegram channel, human rights attorney Pavel Chikov compared the developments in Ustinov’s case to the 2013 prosecution of Alexey Navalny in the “Kirovles” case, where the anti-corruption activist and then Moscow mayoral candidate was sentenced to years in prison and immediately taken into state custody, before large protests pressured prosecutors into requesting Navalny’s release before his appeals hearing.
On September 16, Moscow’s Tverskoy District Court sentenced Ustinov to 3.5 years in prison for supposedly injuring a National Guardsman during his arrest at a protest in Moscow where Ustinov was not a participant. Ustinov’s appeals hearing is scheduled for September 23 — delightfully soon for the defendant and his supporters, but curiously sooner than two criminal-procedural statutes allow.
Following Ustinov’s sentencing, actors and members of several other professions have demonstrated in his support, arguing that the court ignored exonerating video evidence.