Motorist Rights Champion Arrested in Russia

MOSCOW, June 12 (RIA Novosti) – A motorist rights campaigner was given a 10-day arrest in Moscow over a murky road accident, which could be a prelude to a much longer jail stay for the opposition-minded activist.

Vadim Korovin of the Russian Federation of Car Owners was convicted on Tuesday of disobeying a lawful police order, his lawyer said on Twitter.

Korovin did not give way to an official cortege outside Moscow in late May. He said in court he was unable to maneuver on the wet highway.

Traffic police also said Korovin ran over an officer when trying to escape from the site of the incident, an accusation that can lead to a jail term of up to 10 years. An investigation is ongoing.

Korovin denied the allegations and said police is fabricating the case to punish him on behalf of the unnamed official whose cortege he blocked.

Motorist rights activists lead a heated campaign against officials’ behavior on the road in Russia. Top state servants are entitled to road privileges when on duty, but are alleged to often abuse them.

The self-employed Korovin, 35, is also a known opposition supporter: He was among the protesters who unsuccessfully tried to set up a tent camp in downtown Moscow during a rally on May 6, 2012, which ended in mass rioting and clashes with police.

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