IRKUTSK, February 5 (RIA Novosti) – Russian opposition activist Leonid Razvozzhayev’s lawyer was detained on Tuesday at a Siberian pre-trial detention facility, for trying to pass a mobile phone to his client, local prison service officials said.
Lawyer Vyacheslav Ivanets was held while going to a meeting with Razvozzhayev, who has been accused of plotting to organize violent disorder at anti-government demonstrations in Moscow.
“The lawyer was detained while trying to give Razvozzhayev a mobile phone,” said a Federal Prison Service spokesman.
Mobile phones are banned in the Russian prison system, including pre-trial detention centers. Ivanets could now face administrative prosecution on a charge of attempting to pass a forbidden object to a person held in custody, which carries a fine of up to 1,500 rubles ($50).
Razvozzhayev made international headlines last October when he alleged he had been kidnapped by “masked men” while seeking political asylum at a UN office in the Ukrainian capital Kiev.
He was placed in the detention facility’s hospital in the Siberian city of Irkutsk last month after doctors found a 20-year-old bullet in his back.