Quantcast
Connect with us

Pussy Riot protester questioned about biting police officer during sentencing

Published

on

Former chess king turned Kremlin critic Garry Kasparov faced the threat of prison Monday after being questioned over claims that he bit a policeman at the sentencing of the Pussy Riot punk rockers.

The bizarre but serious charge could put the 49-year-old behind bars for five years and deliver even graver harm to Moscow’s deteriorating relations with the West in President Vladimir Putin’s third term.

ADVERTISEMENT

Kasparov has been a seminal figure of the opposition who has used his global fame to publish articles in the Western press detailing the difficulties human rights encountered during Putin’s previous 12 years in power.

His impact on home politics has been limited almost entirely to failed efforts to merge the various forces of Russia’s protest movement into a cohesive unit that could meaningfully take on Putin at the polls.

But he remains a constant presence at Moscow protests and was one of dozens detained in confrontations that broke out during Friday’s sentencing to two years in prison for the three feminist protest band members.

Kasparov had defended their “punk prayer” stunt performance as “political speech that should be unconditionally protected” — a view unanimously shared by Western powers but not the Kremlin or Russia’s powerful Orthodox Church.

ADVERTISEMENT

No charges against Kasparov have yet been filed and he only appeared Monday at a Moscow district police station to give initial testimony.

The Moscow police department said it had handed over the evidence to the federal Investigative Committee that leads almost all high-profile cases against Russian opposition members.

But the charges — if pursued — could deal one of the biggest blows yet to Russia’s ties with the West that are already strained from opposing views of the Syria conflict and what is believed to be Putin’s firm decision to allow no more dissent.

ADVERTISEMENT

Kasparov dismissed the biting allegations with characteristically bitter irony on his Twitter account.

“I am sorry if the policeman who was beating me on the head had hurt his hand,” the man widely regarded as history’s greatest chess player tweeted.

He also promised to file slander charges on Tuesday against the officer who was allegedly bitten as well as a second suit claiming illegal detention.

ADVERTISEMENT

The world’s highest-rated chess player for nearly two decades was pulled into a waiting police van while talking to a group of reporters.

The biting claims appear to revolve around evidence volunteered by a man who heads Officers of Russia — a fringe nationalist group that on its own website sets out its mission as “providing support to the law enforcement authorities”.

Officers of Russia leader Anton Tsvetkov said he had been asked by bailiffs to keep an eye on who was breaking order at Friday’s explosive Pussy Riot verdict reading and report any incidents to the police.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I did not personally see the bite,” Tsvetkov admitted to AFP in a telephone interview.

“But one of my assistants was told by a reporter that Kasparov had bit a policeman. She went out to investigate and eventually found the bitten policeman,” he added.

“The bite was on the hand.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The story has gained broad attention in part because it has been played up by Kasparov himself.

He gave a host of interviews to both US and Russian media over the weekend citing the allegations as evidence that human rights under Putin were approaching a terminal state.

Yet there would appear to be little to gain for the Kremlin from jailing a figure of international stature with national approval ratings that have rarely been higher than a few percent.

ADVERTISEMENT

An assault on a police officer conviction can result in fine of 200,000 rubles ($6,200) or up to five years in jail.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and legal efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. And unlike other news outlets, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from billionaires and corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click to donate by check.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



Report typos and corrections to: [email protected]. Send news tips to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Facebook

New images from asteroid probe offer clues on planet formation

Published

on

Photographs snapped by a shoebox-sized probe that explored the near-Earth asteroid Ryugu have offered new clues about its composition, insights that will help scientists understand the formation of our solar system.

The German-French Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout (MASCOT) hitched a ride on Japan's Hayabusa2 spaceship, touching down on the 900-meter (3,000 feet) wide asteroid, whose orbit lies mostly between Earth and Mars, on October 3, 2018.

Ryugu's gravity is 66,500 times weaker than Earth's, and the forward motion of wheels would have launched MASCOT back into space.

Continue Reading

2020 Election

Ex-Trump official bashes White House ‘apologists’ who haven’t quit yet: ‘There’s not much hope for them’

Published

on

A report on the silence coming from first daughter Ivanka Trump and her White House advisor husband Jared Kushner after Donald Trump attacked American Jews turned to the future of White House aides who are either complicit in the president's policies or stand idly by as he lurches from controversy to controversy.

In an interview with CNN's Brianna Keilar, former Trump adviser J.W. Verret pointed out there are still some "adults in the room" with Trump, but CNN's Kaitlan Collins first pointed out that -- as of late -- Ivanka and Kushner are not among them.

"This fits a pattern that we've seen from Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump at times during times when the administration tried to repeal parts of Obamacare, and of course, the big one the president has made about Jewish people who are supporting Democrats," Collins explained. "Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump are both Orthodox Jews. They've been involved with the president on many things. but neither of them have said anything publicly about the president's comments. and when we asked the white house have they been advising the president privately on this, the White House did not get back to us."

Continue Reading
 

Facebook

GOP facing nightmare scenario as rural America gets hit with a depopulation crisis

Published

on

The Republican Party is entrenched in rural America with the overwhelming majority of small towns being represented by the GOP. But the population in these areas are under a huge decline.

That's a nightmare scenario for Republicans in Congress, whose districts are determined by population. The Republican Party has worked diligently to ensure gerrymandering can protect their rural members as the population shifts toward the suburbs.

One key component of the Affordable Care Act went to subsidizing rural hospitals to prevent them from closing. Most of that has been defunded by Republicans if the states were even willing to allow Medicare/Medicaid expansion in the state, to begin with. A Navigant report out earlier this year showed that more than one in five rural hospitals have closed so far.

Continue Reading
 
 

Thank you for whitelisting Raw Story!

As a special thank you, from now until August 31st, we're offering you a discounted rate of $5.99/month to subscribe and get ad-free access. We're honored to have you as a reader. Thank you. :) —Elias, Membership Coordinator
LEARN MORE
close-link
close-image