Russian court rules opposition leader’s arrest illegal

March 21st, 2008 - 11:26 pm ICT by admin  

RIA Novosti
St. Petersburg (Russia), March 21 (RIA Novosti) A city court here Friday ruled that the arrest of an opposition party leader for allegedly attacking a police officer in early March was illegal. Maxim Reznik, the head of the Yabloko Party (YP), was arrested during demonstrations shortly after the March 2 presidential polls, which ended in a landslide victory by Kremlin-backed Dmitry Medvedev.

Reznik, an organizer of anti-Kremlin protests, has denied the charges.

“The court finds a district court’s ruling to arrest Reznik erroneous and rules that he should be released and the case reinvestigated,” the City Court said.

Lawyer Boris Gruzd said Reznik, 33, was to be released Friday.

Police claimed that Reznik had insulted police officers and then assaulted one of them on the evening of March 3.

While Reznik denied the charges, opposition groups said the YP leader’s arrest was politically motivated.

Reznik is one of the organizers of an upcoming opposition parties’ conference seeking to work out a common position on vital issues in the country.

The Russian opposition movement is also planning to hold rallies in Moscow and St. Petersburg in early May before Medvedev assumes office of the president.

On March 13, St. Petersburg authorities ordered the Yabloko Party out of its office by June, citing default in rent payment, Russian media reported.

A day after the decision, the office was raided and party documents checked for “extremist activities.”
RIA Novosti

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