Moscow court releases actor after huge campaign by outraged celebrities

Moscow court releases actor after huge campaign by outraged celebrities
Pavel Ustinov Photo: RBC

Fellow actors, TV presenters, bloggers and other public figures stood up for Pavel Ustinov, who had been accused of dislocating an officer’s shoulder during a wrongful detention.

The Moscow City Court changed the verdict of Pavel Ustinov from the initial 3.5-year imprisonment to recognizance not to leave the city. A bunch of actors spoke in his defense, which made the Prosecutor General ask to release the artist from the pre-trial detention center, RBC said.

Ustinov was held in remand jail pending the consideration of the appeal against his sentence. The actor was found guilty of being violent towards riot policemen Alexander Lyagin at an August-3rd unauthorized rally in Moscow. According to investigators, Ustinov dislocated the officer’s shoulder during the detention.

Video footage of the detention, which the court refused to attach to the case file, clearly shows Ustinov walking slowly along the street and looking at his phone when a group of security officers began to detain him. On September 16, the Tverskoy court of Moscow sentenced the man to 3.5 years in prison.

After the verdict was delivered, dozens of actors, cultural figures and famous journalists launched a campaign on social media in his support. TV presenter Ivan Urgant, actors Sergey Bezrukov and Danila Kozlovsky and several theater actors raised people’s awareness on the unlawful measures taken against the actor. A bunch of doctors, teachers, priests, and many others joined the campaign.

The Prosecutor General’s Office “does not dispute the proof of Ustinov’s guilt or the right qualifications of his actions,” but believes that the sentence should be changed “due to its excessive severity.” A week before the statement, the prosecutor wanted Ustinov to be sentenced to six years in prison.

Anatoly Kucherena, Ustinov’s lawyer, commented on the appeal of the prosecutor’s office, saying that he would seek the full acquittal of his client. The Moscow City Court will consider the appeal against Ustinov’s verdict next week.

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