16 Aug 2018 15:47

Communist Party parliamentarians ask court to free New Greatness activists under their guarantees

MOSCOW. Aug 16 (Interfax) - Russian State Duma deputy Valery Rashkin of the Communist Party has arrived to Moscow's Dorogomilovsky District Court on Thursday to ask for the freeing of Anna Pavlikova and Maria Dubovik, charged with setting up the extremist community New Greatness, from pretrial custody under his personal guarantees, an Interfax correspondent reported.

"I believe the girls are not guilty of anything but were simply enticed by agents provocateurs from security services. If security services are allowed acting this way, half of the people in this country will end up in jail, including me, although I am a seasoned politician," Rashkin told Interfax on Thursday.

He vowed that Pavlikova and Dubovik will not go into hiding if freed from detention.

Rashkin said his written guarantees would be filed with the court on Thursday, but he himself would be unable to attend the hearing, as it is scheduled for the evening.

Dubovik's defense lawyer Maxim Pashkov told Interfax that, in addition to Rashkin, Duma deputy Sergei Shargunov and former Duma deputy and leader of the Party of Change Dmitry Gudkov also vouched for Pavlikova and Dubovik. Pashkov argued that the court should treat personal guarantees by a parliamentarian as a valid reason to mitigate a defendant's pretrial restrictive measure.

"A parliamentarian's guarantee in the West is considered the ultimate dream," he said.

The Dorogomilovsky Court is expected to hear the investigation's requests on placing Pavlikova and Dubovik under house arrest pending trial at 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. The two are currently being held in pretrial custody.