Kasparov Sentenced to 5 Days in Prison for Moscow March

The judge at Meschansky court in Moscow has sentenced Other Russia coalition leader Garry Kasparov to five days in prison on a civil disobedience charge for leading an “unauthorized” rally. The exact terms and conditions of the sentence are not yet known and Kasparov remains in custody as of 11pm Moscow time on Saturday. In a brief call from the courthouse moments ago to notify friends and family, Kasparov stated that the court proceedings had been “a choreographed farce from beginning to end.” He added, “It was a symbol of what has happened to justice and the rule of law under Putin.” Kasparov reassured his family that he was well with “only a few bruises.”

The witnesses requested by the defense were not permitted to enter the courthouse and at one point the judge left, apparently to consult with her political masters, before announcing the decision. The police reports on the arrest presented in court were blatantly contradictory, which one of the officers in court freely admitted. Two of the OMON special forces officers admitted that prior to the march they had been given specific orders to arrest Kasparov. After hearing the sentence, Kasparov said, “Everything you have just heard was lies. The officers’ testimony is contradictory and without a single word of truth.”