Russia puts activist Sergei Udaltsov under house arrest for 'mass disorder' during '12 Moscow protest

ANI

London, Feb. 10 (ANI): A Russian court has placed prominent opposition activist Sergei Udaltsov under house arrest.

Udaltsov is charged with organising 'mass disorder' during a protest in Moscow in May 2012.

According to the BBC, he was arrested in October before being released.

Udaltsov, who is the leader of the Left Front coalition, has rejected the accusation, saying it is an attempt to discredit the opposition to President Vladimir Putin.

If convicted, Udaltsov will face between four and 10 years in prison.

It is the first time that a Russian opposition activist has been placed under house arrest, the report said.

Two other activists, Konstantin Lebedev, an aide to Udaltsov, and Leonid Razvozzhayev, an aide to opposition MP Ilya Ponomarev, were also charged along with Udaltsov in October, but were remanded in custody, it added.

On Saturday, investigators asked that Udaltsov be placed under house arrest by the court in Moscow's Basmanny district because he had not been exhibiting good behaviour and had not co-operated with them.

The court ruled that he stay inside his flat, limited his communications to his closest relatives and his lawyers, and banned him from using the internet, our correspondent reports.

The house arrest will last until early April when the investigation is expected to conclude.

Speaking to journalists before the verdict, Udaltsov said he considered the new restrictions a purely political move.

According to the report, the case against the three activists centres on a documentary broadcast by the pro-Kremlin television channel NTV, which allegedly shows them discussing efforts to topple the Russian government with an official from neighbouring Georgia and seeking financial support.

Udaltsov said the footage was a sham and the documentary full of 'dirt and lies', the report added. (ANI)

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