Court Denies Kasparov Appeal

Court ProceedingsThe Meschansky court in Moscow has dismissed a complaint filed by Garry Kasparov’s lawyer, and has deemed that the opposition presidential candidate and United Civil Front (OGF) leader should remain in prison. The court deliberated for more than an hour, and the proceedings lasted another two and a half hours. After the verdict, Marina Livinovich, a member of the OGF Federal Council, declared that there had been no doubt of the outcome.

Meanwhile, around eight individuals identified as members of pro-Kremlin youth movements had gathered outside the court. They held chess pieces in the hands, and a sack with the words “A package for Kasparov” written on it. The young guard had also assembled some homeless persons, who held signs reading “Freedom for Kasparov.” In the court building, another man identified with the same groups was videotaping the whole event. Earlier, legitimate United Civil Front activists were arrested for supposed provocation at the same location.

Kasparov was sentenced to five days in jail on Saturday, after he was grabbed by riot police from an opposition march. According to the official line, Kasparov “Organized an unsanctioned demonstration against president Putin,” and “refused repeated requests to stop from officer Utushkin.” Five-day sentences have also been handed down to Aleksander Averin, a member of the Other Russia executive committee, and Oleg Kozlovskiy, a coordinator of the Oborona youth movement.

Kasparov was peacefully marching at the “Dissenter’s March” in Moscow on November 24th when he was detained. Other important opposition figures were also arrested at the protest, including Eduard Limonov, a leader of the Other Russia, Lev Ponomarev, the head of the “For Human Rights” movement, and Maria Gaidar, the top candidate from Moscow of the Union of Right Forces party. Overall, no less than 100 people were seized.