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Activist Handed 4-Year Prison Term in Warsaw Case

Published: February 12, 2014 (Issue # 1797)



  • Lyovkins lawyer, Gleb Lavrentyev, and his mother, Olga Lyovkina, with pictures of Lyovkin at Mondays news conference.
    Photo: Sergey Chernov / SPT

Denis Lyovkin, a 20-year-old activist held for more than one year in the so-called Warsaw Case, was sentenced to four years in prison Tuesday by Judge Irina Eizhvertina for assaulting two police officers at a protest. On Feb. 4, the state prosecutor asked that Lyovkin be sentenced to 4 1/2 years behind bars.

Lyovkin took part in an attempt to save a historic warehouse belonging to the now-defunct Warsaw Railway Station from demolition on Feb. 4, 2013, which is believed to be St. Petersburgs first protest to result in criminal charges being brought.

The defense claimed that the indictment against Lyovkin is based purely on false evidence given by police officers.

Related: Railway Station Probe Continues to Unfold

The officers were allegedly injured when the police stormed the warehouse.

According to witnesses, police acted with force, knocking down and beating the protesters. At a police station, Lyovkin was singled out of the 22 detained activists and charged with assaulting the policemen, before being transferred to the Kresty prison. The remaining activists were charged with holding an illegal rally and disobeying police orders.

Testimony against Lyovkin was given by six police officers including the Admiralteisky District police chief Grigory Klebanov.

Related: Police Evict Warehouse Squatters in Violent Clashes

Thats when much became clear to me. I understood that the investigation was over before it had even started, Olga Lyovkina, the activists mother, told a news conference on Monday.

The testimony by the police took away any hope for a fair and competent investigation. Lyovkina said she had collected photographs to prove Lyovkins innocence herself, but they were completely ignored by the investigators.

I understood the reason, she said.Its elementary; if they admit the obvious that Denis is not guilty the testimony by the police officers headed by the Admiralteisky District police chief automatically become perjury, something that the system, that the investigators, could not let happen. The system short-circuited. Even the victims themselves are not interested in who assaulted them in reality. I did not expect that it would be so absurd.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at todays Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nations premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the citys elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolans latest film Mommy at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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