Russian investigators drop ‘Sanitary Case’ charges against municipal deputy Konstantin Yankauskas
The Russian Investigative Committee has dropped the “Sanitary Case” charges against municipal deputy Konstantin Yankauskas, his lawyer informed Mediazona on July 14.
A number of Alexey Navalny’s associates are facing criminal charges for allegedly violating sanitary and epidemiological restrictions during a pro-Navalny rally in Moscow on January 23. According to the Moscow authorities, 19 people with the coronavirus took part in rally, thus creating a threat of mass infection.
Initially, there were ten suspects in case: Navalny staffers Oleg Stepanov and Nikolai Lyaskin, opposition politician Lyubov Sobol, Doctors’ Alliance director Anastasia Vasilieva, Navalny’s brother Oleg Navalny, his press secretary Kira Yarmysh, Pussy Riot activist Maria Alyokhina, and municipal deputies Konstantin Yankauskas, Dmitry Baranovsky, and Lyusya Shtein (who is also a Pussy Riot member).
The lawyer, Ilya Utkin from OVD-Info, clarified to the state news agency TASS that he has yet to see the decree dismissing the case against Yankauskas and therefore doesn’t know what guided the Investigative Committee’s decision. “However, my client no longer stands accused in this case,” Utkin said.
Yankauskas, who is the municipal deputy for Moscow’s Zyuzino district, wrote on Twitter that he considers the “Sanitary Case” completely absurd and demands the release of the remaining nine defendants in the case (they’ve all been under house arrest since late January).
At the end of January, a Moscow court sentenced Yankauskas to nine days in jail for a tweet that said “One for all — and all for one!” and included a link to the announcement for a pro-Navalny rally on January 23. Later, he was accused of inciting violations of coronavirus regulations at the rally. Yankauskas was placed under house arrest in February; this was eased in April in favor of a ban on certain activities.
A Moscow court opted against extending the preventive measures against Yankauskas in late June. This came a week after Yankauskas announced that he wouldn’t be running in the upcoming State Duma elections due to the death of his father.