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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

11 Charged for Roles in May Riots

Russia's Public Prosecutor has charged 11 people for their parts in riots last May 1 that left a policeman killed and dozens wounded, ending a nine-month investigation.


Anatoly Rogozhnikov, a spokesman for the prosecutor's office, said Thursday that investigators had viewed 32 video tapes of Russian and foreign journalists who filmed the May 1 riots, identifying 11 people who played an active role.


"We know their faces very well," he said. "These people were invited to the Public Prosecutor's office and now they are reading the materials of their cases."


He said 11 had given written undertakings not to leave Moscow.


"They are accused of mass disorders according to the article 79 of the Criminal Code and soon the case will be sent to the court," he said. The charges carry possible prison terms of between two and 15 years.


Rogozhnikov said, however, that the driver of a truck that rammed and killed a policeman had not been identified.


Hundreds of Communist and nationalist protesters fought police on Gagarin Square last May 1, throwing stones in the first serious outbreak of political violence Moscow had seen since the attempted coup of August 1991.


Rogozhnikov said that the rally's organizers Viktor Ampilov, Ilya Konstantinov and Stanislav Terekhov have not yet been charged, although they were also interrogated.


All three men are now in Lefortovo prison awaiting trial in connection with the violence of Oct. 3-4. Rogozhnikov said that Ampilov had acknowledged "deliberately" changing the route of the May 1 riot


"There will be probably separate criminal case about May 1 riots against Ampilov," he said.