Anti-Putin protester claims he was tortured
Russian investigators have said that a man accused of plotting to foment unrest with other opponents of president Vladimir Putin had turned himself in and confessed, but a video on the internet showed the activist saying he had been tortured.
Investigators said Leonid Razvozzhayev had voluntarily confessed on Sunday in a high- profile case that Kremlin critics say is part of a clampdown aimed at sidelining activists who have led anti-Putin protests.
But his supporters said Mr Razvozzhayev had in fact been detained by force in Kiev on Friday. Video posted on the internet by the opposition MP who employs him as an aide shows him accusing the authorities of torturing him.
His detention and alleged confession could have far- reaching implications for the opposition since one of the other suspects in the case is Sergei Udaltsov, a prominent protest leader who has played a major role in organising anti-Kremlin demonstrations.
Both men are among three people named in a criminal investigation opened last week based on what the authorities said was evidence that they had plotted disorder and violence around Russia.
The federal investigative committee, Russia’s top investigative body, said a court had ordered Mr Razvozzhayev be held for two months.
“Razvozzhayev addressed himself to the … investigative committee and said he wanted to confess,” the committee, which answers directly to Mr Putin, said on its website.
But a video on the blog of opposition MP Ilya Ponomaryov showed Mr Razvozzhayev being led into a police van and is heard saying: “Tell them I was tortured,” he is heard saying. “They tortured me for two days.”
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