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Moscow court upholds verdict on National Bolshevik radicals

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MOSCOW, June 19 (RIA Novosti) - A Moscow court rejected an appeal Monday against the convictions of two members of an extremist-minded political party who hung an anti-government slogan on the Rossiya Hotel in May 2005, a lawyer said Monday.

On May 10, the Tverskoi district court handed down a three-and-a-half year suspended sentence with a probation period of five years to Yevgeny Logovsky and sentenced Olga Kudrina, who was also allegedly involved in an attack on the Health Ministry's building, to three and a half years in prison.

"We did not expect any other ruling," said Dmitry Agranovsky, adding that the court had announced the decision without explaining its reasoning.

According to the Justice Ministry, activists from the National Bolshevik Party, which is known for attracting young people on the margins of society, have repeatedly committed crimes of an extremist nature. The ministry has also said the party's controversial leader Eduard Limonov, who was released from prison in 2004 after serving almost two-years of a sentence for illegally buying weapons, approved of extremist activity in the media.

Most recently, three NBP activists - two men and a woman - were detained after gate-crashing the World Newspaper Congress in the Kremlin, shouting slogans including "Putin is the executioner of freedom" and "Russia without Putin," as President Vladimir Putin prepared to address the gathering on the topic of press freedom in Russia.

The party was founded in 1992 as the National Bolshevik Front. It has around 15,000 members with regional departments throughout Russia and a headquarters in Moscow.

Russia's Federal Registration Service refused on January 30 to register the NBP for the fifth time since 1998.

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