MOSCOW, September 24 (RIA Novosti) – Lawyers for two Russian defendants in a high-profile case over a May 2012 opposition rally in Moscow that turned violent have appealed to the European Court of Human Rights over them being kept in custody while awaiting their ongoing trial, a defense lawyer told RAPSI news agency on Tuesday.
The two suspects, Alexei Polikhovich and Denis Lutskevich, are among 12 people accused of participating in “mass riots” after protesters clashed with police during the May 6 anti-Kremlin protest last year, a day before Vladimir Putin was sworn in for a third presidency. The protest on Bolotnaya Square descended into violence, which the protesters and the police each accuse the other of instigating. The trial of the defendants is now underway in the Moscow City Court.
Polikhovich and Lutskevich – who have been in detention ever since their arrests shortly after the incident – were taken into custody before a verdict has been delivered, which “breached their right to freedom until the trial,” their lawyer Dmitry Agranovsky told the legal news agency.
The defense team has appealed to the European Court (ECHR) to rule the detention unlawful and order Russia to pay 100,000 euros ($134,900) in damages to each of the defendants.
Earlier, seven other suspects in the same case submitted a complaint to the ECHR over the length of their detention and poor conditions while awaiting trial. The court approved those complaints for further consideration, combining them into one case last week and giving it priority status.
Another detained suspect in the case, Sergei Krivov, went on hunger strike Thursday, fellow defendant Maria Baronova, who is not in custody but is under oath not to leave the city, wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. She said that Krivov was protesting over the way his trial was being handled by the court.