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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Court Throws Out Case on Gusinsky's Arrest




A Moscow court Tuesday threw out a request by media magnate Vladimir Gusinsky's lawyers to have his jailing last week declared illegal.


The court ruled that because Gusinsky had already been released, there was no longer any need to rule on whether his detention had been legal, his lawyer Genri Reznik said. The court session was closed.


Gusinsky, whose NTV television and other media have been critical of the Kremlin, was charged with embezzlement Friday and released after three days in jail on condition he not leave Moscow.


Although Gusinsky was released, his lawyers had hoped to win a moral victory by having his arrest declared illegal. Reznik said they would appeal.


Gusinsky was released "in a cowardly way because they were afraid to answer our complaint," he said on NTV, which interrupted a film to broadcast the court's ruling. "The arrest of Gusinsky was absolutely illegal."


Under the law, authorities can detain a suspect and hold him for up to 10 days without a charge. But Gusinsky's lawyers argue that they can do so only if the suspect is dangerous, might flee or if his freedom would jeopardize an investigation.


"This is not only about Gusinsky; this is about hundreds and thousands of the accused who are subjected to arbitrary actions of the prosecutor," Reznik said. Prosecutors "feel like jailing [suspects], and they jail; they feel like releasing and they release."


The deputy chairman of the Federation Council asked Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov on Tuesday to provide the upper house of parliament with information about Gusinsky's arrest.


The case "has caused a great public reaction and therefore the senators would like to understand what happened," said Vladimir Platonov, who also is the speaker of the Moscow City Duma.