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Pussy Riot co-founder arrested in absentia – media

Pyotr Verzilov is reportedly accused of spreading “fakes” about the Russian armed forces

The Russian authorities have opened a new criminal case against Pyotr Verzilov, a founding member of the anarchist punk group Pussy Riot, several news outlets revealed on Monday, citing sources. Verzilov has reportedly been arrested in absentia for publishing false information about the activities of the country’s military. 

He was also placed on the international wanted list. So far, the Interior Ministry has not commented on the matter. 

The “public dissemination of knowingly false information about the use of the armed forces of the Russian Federation,” can entail a prison sentence of up to 15 years under Article 207.3 of Russia’s criminal code, which was added shortly after Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine in late February.

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Verzilov’s case is allegedly related to Twitter and Instagram posts he made back in April.  

According to media reports, investigators believe that these posts contained “fakes” about the events in Bucha, the Kiev suburb from which the Russian army withdrew in late March.  

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© Wikipedia
News site founded by Pussy Riot activists blocked in Russia

Since April, the Ukrainian authorities, as well as Western governments and human rights groups, have been accusing Russian forces of having committed war crimes there, an allegation that Moscow has vehemently denied. 

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Verzilov’s lawyer Leonid Solovyov told the news outlet RBK that he had learned about the new criminal case against Verzilov from the media and “is not aware of any details so far.”  

Verzilov had already been wanted by Russian law enforcement before. In 2020, he was accused of concealing a second citizenship (Canadian). Last November, the ministry, citing “a Criminal Code article,” placed him on its wanted list. 

Solovyov confirmed at the time that his client’s addition to the list was related to the citizenship case. He also said that Verzilov “had not lived in Russia for a long time.”  

Verzilov, who was also designated a ‘foreign agent’ last year, came to prominence in 2012. He was married to Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, another founding member of the band Pussy Riot, and acted as the group’s unofficial spokesman in its early days.

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https://ift.tt/FlMK0WG 02, 2022 at 09:48PM
from RT – Daily news

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