Russian actor Ustinov’s case: Still guilty, but sentence mitigated

Moscow City Court has deflected the sentence to actor Pavel Ustinov by putting him on one-year probation.

At the same time, the court considered his guilty of using violence against a Rosgvardia employee to be proven, reports.

In mid July, Russians started protesting against the authorities’ refusal to register opposition and independent candidates for the Moscow City Duma elections.

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In late August, the actor was detained in Pushkin Square during an unauthorized protest in Moscow. Alexander Lyagin, a guardsman, was the victim, whose shoulder, according to the investigation, was dislocated by Ustinov during the arrest.

In mid September, Tverskoy district court of Moscow sentenced actor Ustinov to 3.5 years in prison. The 24-year-old Ustinov did not admit guilt and said that he had just stood by and waited for his friend and did not participate in the rally.

“I was beaten, I was beaten with special means, I never resisted,” he said.

Although prosecutors asked for six years of imprisonment for him in court, later the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office asked for the sentence be changed. According to Deputy Prosecutor Yuri Ponomarev, the agency considers Ustinov’s guilt proven but the court decision is ‘too harsh’.

The sentence given to Pavel Ustinov triggered a wave of solidarity; many Russian actors and cultural figures took part in picketing in support of him.

Last week, Moscow City Court considered the appeal for the release of actor Pavel Ustinov from the pre-trial detention centre and ruled to free him under the pledge not to leave the country.

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