SBU claims ignorance, Russian investigators – that Razvozzhaev “confessed”


In a further cynical twist in the abduction of Russian opposition activist Leonid Razvozzhaev, the Russian investigators on Monday claimed that Mr Razvozzhaev had “handed himself in” on Sunday in Moscow. They allege that he “confessed” although an Internet video shows him stating that he was tortured for two days. .

In the meantime, Ukraine’s SBU or Security Service are claiming to have been uninvolved in the abduction of Mr Razvozzhaev on Friday.

The cynicism on the part of the Russian investigators and lack of SBU credibility is heightened by the statement released by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on Monday which confirmed the details circulated among NGOs and in the media over the weekend.  Leonid Razvozzhaev had sought political asylum on Friday and had even left his personal things in the UNHCR office in Kyiv while he went out for a break when he was abducted.

The alleged “confession” is of particular concern since the criminal prosecution is based on material broadcast in the second instalment of an anti-opposition programme on the now pro-Kremlin NTV.  The whole exercise would appear to be aimed at stamping down on the opposition in Russia, since the third person implicated in this TV-prompted criminal investigation is the prominent opposition activist Sergei Udaltsov.  Whether to divide the opposition and raise suspicions as to why he has been favoured, or for some other reason, Udaltsov is the only one of the three who has not been remanded in custody.  Konstantin Lebedev was remanded in custody for at least 2 months on 17 October, and now Leonid Razvozzhaev has been jailed for a similar period. 

All three men could face 10 year prison sentences if convicted. 

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