Moscow Court Returns Case Against Activist Radzhabov To Prosecutors

A court in Moscow has returned to prosecutors the case against activist Samariddin Radzhabov, who is charged with assaulting law enforcement officers during an unsanctioned protest in the capital on July 27.

Judge Maria Sizintseva ruled on November 27 that mistakes were made in official papers outlining the crime, specifically the exact location that it occurred.

Sizintseva declined, however, a motion by defense lawyers to release Radzhabov from pretrial detention and instead put him under house arrest.

Radzhabov was arrested along with several other activists over an unsanctioned rally held on July 27 in Moscow to demand that officials allow independent candidates on the ballot in a September 8 municipal vote.

He is accused of throwing a plastic bottle towards police during the demonstration, though Radzhabov has said he is innocent.

Three police officers were presented by investigators as victims in the case. Later one of them, Vitaly Maksidov, refused to be part of the case.

Several sanctioned and unsanctioned rallies took place in Moscow over the summer in protest at a decision by authorities to deny independent and opposition candidates from running in September municipal elections.

Dozens of protesters have been fined or given jail sentences for organizing and participating in the unsanctioned rallies.

Law enforcement has been criticized for its heavy-handed tactics during the rallies, and the judiciary has since taken a similar hard-line approach.

Several other men were charged with assaulting police and handed stiff sentences.

In one case, after a sharp public outcry over the court's approach, one of those convicted had his prison term changed to a suspended sentence.

Based on reporting by Mediazona, Interfax, and TASS