Prosecutors Demand Psychiatric Treatment for Opposition Activist

MOSCOW, October 2 (RIA Novosti/RAPSI) – Prosecutors asked Wednesday in their closing arguments in the trial at a Moscow court of an anti-Kremlin activist accused of attacking a police officer that he be made to undergo psychiatric treatment.

The prosecution said in its final statement that Mikhail Kosenko was beyond all doubt guilty of involvement in the anti-government unrest of May 2012 in central Moscow during which he is said to have assaulted a state official. The clashes took place on the eve of Vladimir Putin’s swearing in for a new term as president.

Investigators had earlier argued that Kosenko, who has been in pretrial detention since mid-2012, suffers from schizophrenia and requires treatment.

Kosenko’s lawyers insist he is innocent and say the demand for his compulsory psychiatric treatment is unlawful and without basis.

Riot police officer Alexander Kazmin, who is purported to have been the victim of the attack, told the court in July that he had no memory of Kosenko.

A lawyer appearing for Kosenko, Alexei Miroshnichenko, said compulsory psychiatric treatment could only be applied to individuals that had committed a crime in a state of temporary insanity. This did not apply to Kosenko, the lawyer said.

Assaulting a police officer is under Russian law punishable by a prison sentence of up to 10 years.

The Zamoskvoretsky District Court in Moscow said the verdict in the Kosenko trial is due Tuesday.

A total of 12 opposition activists have been accused of attacking police and inciting mass riots on the central Bolotnaya Square last May.

Authorities say more than 400 protesters were detained after allegedly injuring dozens of police officers and pelting them with pieces of asphalt.

Opposition and human rights groups said, however, that police deliberately corralled thousands of people into a confined space, provoking the violence.

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