MOSCOW, February 27 (RIA Novosti) – Officials investigating a 2012 anti-government protest that led to the sentencing of eight activists this week have been on the end of threats, the head of the country’s main investigative agency said Thursday.
Investigative Committee chief Alexander Bastrykin said, apparently responding to criticism of the case, that investigators had not only shown steady resolve and integrity in pursuing the matter, but had done so in the face of intimidation.
Bastrykin did not elaborate on the nature of the threats or which individuals had been targeted.
On Monday, seven activists were sentenced to prison terms of between 2 1/2 to four years for participating in rioting and violence at a rally on Moscow’s Bolotnaya Square in May 2012, a day before Vladimir Putin was sworn in for a third term as president.
An eighth activist received a suspended sentence.
More than 400 people were detained at the demonstration, one of several large-scale street rallies in Moscow and other Russian cities that had taken place since December 2011 to oppose Putin’s return to the presidency.