Russian opposition leader Garry Kasparov bit a police officer while being detained outside a Moscow court, where the verdict in the trial of the Pussy Riot group members was being announced on Friday, police said.
A former world chess champion and outspoken Kremlin critic, Kasparov was among some 300 people who gathered outside the Khamovnichesky Court in central Moscow on Friday afternoon to protest against the controversial trial, in which three female Pussy Riot members have been sentenced to two years in a general security penal colony for staging an anti-Kremlin “punk prayer” in a central Moscow cathedral in February.
Riot police deployed outside the court detained at least 30 people, including Kasparov, who co-chairs the All-Russian Civil Congress opposition movement, and Left Front movement leader Sergei Udaltsov.
“I don’t understand why I was detained,” Russian media quoted Kasparov as saying.
He said he was giving an interview when police officers approached him. He also said people dressed in riot police uniforms had “brutally beaten” him after pushing him into a paddy wagon. His claim could not be independently verified.
The police spokesman said the police officer had his index finger and hand bitten by Kasparov and had to seek medical attention. The incident is being investigated, the spokesman said.
Kasparov dismissed the allegation of having bitten the police officer.