Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Russian Policeman Refuses to Testify Against Opposition Activist

A trial over riots at a large anti-Kremlin protest in Moscow last year witnessed an unusual and rare twist Monday as a riot policeman declined to testify against a protester accused of attacking him. Riot police officer Alexander Kazmin, who is the only victim in the case, said he did not remember defendant Mikhail Kosenko, who allegedly attacked him during the May 2012 rally that ended with clashes between protesters and police. Moscow authorities said several policemen were injured by the demonstrators in those clashes, and said the officers would be awarded with free apartments. Soon after the rally, investigators launched a series of criminal cases against activists and opposition leaders accusing them of organizing and taking part in “mass riots” that erupted during the protest, on Moscow’s Bolotnaya Square.

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