Jailed Russian actor Pavel Ustinov is released from jail to await next week's appeals hearing
Moscow City Court Judge Yulia Manerkina decided on Friday to release Pavel Ustinov on his own recognizance, following a request from the District Attorney's Office. Ustinov was recently sentenced to 3.5 years in prison for allegedly injuring a National Guardsman when he was arrested at a protest on August 3. Ustinov's appeals hearing will take place on September 26.
A Moscow district court convicted Ustinov of shouting slogans and resisting arrest at a demonstration on August 3, but video footage shows that he wasn’t part of the protest and merely stumbled, when a group of National Guard troops tackled him without warning.
Many Russian actors, musicians, television celebrities, and even United Russia General Council head Andrey Turchak have spoken out in support of Ustinov. The chief editors and publishers of three major independent news outlets — Ekho Moskvy, Novaya Gazeta, and Dozhd — have asked Moscow’s court system to reconsider Ustinov’s sentence, and a Change.org petition demanding the same has attracted more than 145,000 signatures, at the time of this writing.