Russian Leftist Activist Falls Ill in Court

The initial version of this story said Razvozzhayev was “taken to hospital,” this is corrected in the below to “fell ill in court” as an ambulence was called and he was treated on site.   


MOSCOW, March 29 (RIA Novosti) – A Russian leftist activist accused of plotting a foreign-funded coup fell ill in court on Friday after a Moscow court refused to free him on bail.

An ambulance was called for Leonid Razvozzhayev, of the Left Front political movement, after he complained of feeling unwell, his lawyer said.

Razvozzhayev made international headlines in October when he claimed to have been abducted in Kiev by Russian security forces and tortured into confessing to the charges, which stemmed from grainy footage aired by the pro-Kremlin NTV channel.

He later retracted his confession.

The NTV footage purports to show Razvozzhayev, Left Front leader Sergei Udaltsov, and another activist, Konstantin Lebedev, discussing a plot with Georgian politician Givi Targamadze.

All four men deny the meeting took place. NTV said it was secretly filmed in Minsk, Belarus.

Razvozzhayev was transferred to a detention facility in eastern Siberia late last year in connection with 1997 armed robbery charges, and returned to Moscow earlier this month.

He said on Friday that he had been subjected to pressure in Siberia to implicate Udaltsov and other figures opposed to President Vladimir Putin’s rule in the alleged plot.

“The level of pressure on me was so immense that, despite being an atheist, I began praying,” Razvozzhayev told the judge before he was taken to hospital.

“But I did not break and do not consider myself guilty,” he said.

The court has declined to grant Razvozzhayev bail or place him under house arrest, arguing that his possession of a travel document and his “wide range of contacts” make him a flight risk.

An investigator told the court on Friday that Razvozzhayev, Udaltsov, Lebedev and Targamadze were also guilty of organizing violence at a Moscow protest on the eve of Putin’s inauguration for a third presidential term in May.

Udaltsov and Lebedev are both under house arrest, and Georgia has refused to extradite Targamadze.

Leave a comment