5 Sep 2019 18:02

Activist Kotov found guilty of 'Dadin's' charge

MOSCOW. Sept 5 (Interfax) - Activist Konstantin Kotov has been convicted for repeat violation of protest rules, an Interfax correspondent reported from the Tverskoi District Court in Moscow on Thursday.

"The court found that Kotov repeatedly violated the rules for public gatherings in the preceding 180 days," Judge Stanislav Minin said.

This article of the Criminal Code was dubbed "Dadin's" after Ildar Dadin, the first opposition activist to have been convicted under it.

Yesterday, the public prosecutor requested that the court sentence Kotov to four and a half years of imprisonment at a medium-security facility.

According to the prosecution, Kotov, "who has repeatedly faced administrative charges for committing offenses stipulated in Article 20.2 of the Code of Administrative Offenses [violation of the laws on the conduct of public gatherings], violated the existing legislation by attending an illegal mass event - an unsanctioned rally in central Moscow - in the previous 180 days, and ignored legitimate police orders to stop his unlawful behavior."

The two-day trial heard testimony from 13 law enforcement officers, who provided security at the rally where the activist was held. A Moscow official acted as a witness for the prosecution and there were four defense witnesses. These said that Kotov committed no wrongdoing and described him as a peaceful citizen.

The defense lawyers maintained that their client was innocent and asked the court to drop the criminal charges due to lack of evidence.