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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Razvozzhayev Hit With 3rd Criminal Case

TheInvestigative Committee onTuesday opened athird criminal case against jailed opposition activist Leonid Razvozzhayev, this time onsuspicion ofillegally crossing theRussian-Ukrainian border inOctober.

Thecharge carries amaximum sentence oftwo years inprison andfollows allegations ofplotting mass riots with a Georgian power broker andstealing 500 hats from a Siberian fur trader 15 years ago.

"Hoping tomislead thelaw enforcement authorities, Razvozzhayev purchased atrain ticket toKiev using his brother's passport andcrossed theRussian border without avalid travel document," investigators said ina statement ontheir official website.

Investigators say Razvozzhayev decided toflee thecountry onOct. 15 inlight ofan investigation intoinformation provided in"Anatomy ofa Protest 2," adocumentary-style program broadcast onstate-controlled NTV that claimed Razvozzhayev andtwo other activists, Sergei Udaltsov andKonstantin Lebedev, plotted riots todestabilize Russia.

Razvozzhayev's defense lawyer, Dmitry Agranovsky, said Tuesday that "investigators are using these criminal cases toput pressure onhim totestify inthe main case" andthat he would appeal investigators' refusal toreview evidence regarding Razvozzhayev's alleged abduction byRussian special services inUkraine.

“No new testimonies in addition to those that Razvozzhayev has denied will be added into the case, hence investigators may continue to find reasons to make him speak — there are more than 300 articles in Criminal Code,” Agranovsky said.

Since thelatest criminal charges do not fall within theInvestigative Committee's jurisdiction, thecommittee has petitioned theProsecutor General's Office togive it thecase.

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