2.5-year sentence passed on opposition activist Lebedev for organizing Bolotnaya riots [updated]

The Moscow City Court sentenced opposition activist Konstantin Lebedev to 2.5 years on Thursday in a general penitentiary for organizing mass disturbances.

The defendant was found guilty of organizing mass disturbances on Bolotnaya Square on May 6, 2012, and preparing for new disturbances, an Interfax correspondent reports.

The Prosecutor General's Office reported on April 4 that the Lebedev case had been submitted to court.

A source in the Prosecutor General's Office press service told Interfax that the bill of Lebedev's indictment with organizing mass disturbances on Bolotnaya Square on May 6, 2012, together with Left Front coordinator Sergei Udaltsov, opposition activist Leonid Razvozzhayev and Georgian politician Givi Targamadze was thus upheld.

Lebedev was charged under Part 1 Article 212 of the Russian Criminal Code (organization of mass disturbances accompanied with violence, pogroms, arson and property damage) and Part 1 Article 30 and Part 1 Article 212 of the Russian Criminal Code (preparations to organize mass disturbances).

Left Front press secretary Anastasia Udaltsova believes that Lebedev got off with a relatively mild punishment for organizing mass disturbances thanks to incriminating testimony against his mates.

"How can one speak about a fair sentence when people are not guilty in principle? The only fair decision would have been to close the criminal case and to fully acquit everyone," she told Interfax on Thursday. "Konstantin slandered everyone and practically came out clean. It is obvious he will be released on parole in a year."

She is confident that her husband, Sergei Udaltsov, and another defendant, Leonid Razvozzhayev, will be sentenced to longer terms.

"They have refused a plea bargain and are not going to do that, so their sentences will be longer. Five years or, probably, eight," she said.

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