January 25, 2020 / 11:53 AM / 24 days ago

Putin orders Prosecutor General to review protester's conviction

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, January 23, 2020. Alaa Badarneh/Pool via REUTERS

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the Prosecutor General to investigate if a guilty verdict for Moscow protester Konstantin Kotov was lawful, the Kremlin said.

A Moscow court sentenced Kotov, a 34-year-old programmer, to four years in prison in September for “repeated” participation in unauthorised rallies, under a widely criticised law that has made non-violent protests a criminal offence.

The court said Kotov “disregarded basic constitutional principles” because he continued to take part in unauthorised protests after being found guilty of violating legislation on public gatherings.

Putin ordered an investigation into Kotov’s conviction to establish if the verdict was lawful and justified, the Kremlin said on its website.

Reporting by Maria Kiselyova; editing by David Evans

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