9 Oct 2019 12:07

July 27 case defendant Podkopayev, sentenced to 3 years, changes guilty plea

MOSCOW. Oct 9 (Interfax) - July 27 case defendant Ivan Podkopayev, who was sentenced to three years in a penitentiary for spraying a chemical substance into the face of a National Guard serviceman, has changed the confession of guilt he made at the first-instance court and asked for an acquittal, an Interfax correspondent reported from the courtroom.

"I have changed my position. I will act according to my new statements. I do not see my actions as a crime and ask the court for an acquittal," Podkopayev said.

He pleaded not guilty when lawyer Alexei Cheryshev asked the question.

Podkopayev declined to be represented by lawyer Nikolai Fomin and asked the court to allow his father, Roman Podkopayev, to be his representative. The court granted the request.

While the judge was reading out applications of the defense, Podkopayev objected to the lawyer's complaint about the change of his plea.

On September 3, the Moscow Tverskoi District Court sentenced Podkopayev to three years in a penitentiary for attacking Russian National Guard officers during an unsanctioned protest in the Moscow center on July 27.

The court initiated a special procedure without studying evidence after Podkopayev pleaded guilty.

He was the first person sentenced in the July 27 case.

According to materials in the proceeding, "Podkopayev, who was wearing a balaclava during the protest, sprayed an aggressive chemical substance into the faces of police officers and Russian National Guard servicemen." Two servicemen suffered chemical eye burns and required medical attendance.

The unsanctioned protest supported candidates disqualified from the Moscow City Duma elections of September 8. More than 1,000 persons were detained.

The Russian Investigative Committee opened a criminal case on mass riot counts and several cases on counts of assaults on law enforcement officers. More than ten people were arrested.