27 Oct 2019 11:49

Hooliganism charges brought against MSU postgraduate student Miftakhov

MOSCOW. Oct 27 (Interfax) - Investigators have submitted an act of indictment in a final version bringing hooliganism charges against Moscow State University (MSU) postgraduate student Azat Miftakhov, who they believe was involved in an attack on an office of the United Russia party in the Khovrino district in Moscow, Miftakhov's attorney Svetlana Sidorkina said.

"The indictment for Azat Miftakhov has been issued in its final version under Part 2 of Article 213 of the Russian Criminal Code (hooliganism in a group of individuals with preliminary agreement)," Sidorkina told Interfax.

In addition to Miftakhov, there are another four suspects in the case: Yelena Gorban, Andrei Yeykin, Alexei Kobaidze and Stanislav Rechkalov. The latter two are currently at large and wanted by police.

The authorities are conducting a criminal probe into an attack on a United Russia office in Khovrino. The incident took place on January 30, 2018, when unknown individuals smashed a window in the office and threw a smoke grenade into the room. The video of the attack later surfaced on the internet.

Miftakhov earlier denied any involvement in the attack, claiming that "they are fabricating the case against him because of his political views".

Investigators said earlier that the young man "is an active member of the unregistered left-wing anarchist movement People's Self-Defense, which has proclaimed the goal of unconstitutional change of government by way of organizing mass riots in Moscow under a scenario like the Orange revolutions."

It was reported on February 1 that the 25-year-old native of Nizhnekamsk, the Republic of Tatarstan, had been detained in the MSU dormitory in Moscow's Leninskie Gory. An informed source then told Interfax that law enforcement agents got on the track of Miftakhov while investigating a case opened after an unexploded improvised explosive device had been found in Balashikha, Moscow region, on January 11.

After that, Miftakhov was released without indictment on February 7. However, he was apprehended in a hooliganism case immediately after the release.

The Miftakhov case gained much public attention and his arrest prompted a mass campaign in his support promoted by activists from the student community.