Criminal prosecution on four suspects in Bolotnaya Square case stopped due to amnesty
Moscow's Zamoskvoretsky Court stopped on Thursday the criminal prosecution regarding four suspects in the case on large-scale unrest at Moscow's Bolotnaya Square in May 2012.
According to the ruling of Judge Natalia Nikishina, suspects Maria Baronova, Nikolai Kavkazsky, Leonid Kovyazin and Vladimir Akimenkov have been pardoned, the Interfax correspondent reported.
Akimenkov and Kovyazin have been released in the court hall.
"To close the criminal case and criminal prosecution due to being released on amnesty," the court ruled.
According to the ruling, the restrictions regarding these defendants have been lifted immediately.
Other suspects in the case are not eligible for amnesty because they are accused of resorting to violence against authorities. Thus, the court will continue trying the case regarding eight defendants.
Supporters of the defendants welcomed the court ruling with applause.
The suspects who were released said, following the hearing, that they intended to support those who remained on trial but refused to comment further.
"They will go home. They will return to the prison tomorrow to pick up their belongings," Dmitry Agranovsky, lawyer representing one of the suspects, told Interfax.
The opposition rally permitted by the Moscow authorities on Bolotnaya Square escalated into clashes with police on May 6, 2012. Over 400 people have been detained as a result of the unrest.
On the same day a criminal case was opened under the Russian Criminal Code Article 212 (appeals for large-scale unrest) and Article 318 (using violence against a representative of the authorities). In January 2013 the case was merged with the case on preparing for organizing large-scale unrest in Russia.
Twenty eight people have become suspects, three of them have already been convicted: Mikhail Luzyanin (pleaded guilty in participating in large-scale unrest and using violence against police at the rally and was sentenced to four years and six months), Konstantin Lebedev (was sentenced to two years and six months in a general-regime penal colony over organizing large-scale unrest) and Mikhail Kosenko (was found guilty and sent for compulsory treatment on October 8, 2013).
On December 18 the State Duma declared amnesty due to the 20th anniversary of the Constitution.