Russia dismisses activist's torture claim

Nov. 22, 2012 at 4:09 PM

MOSCOW, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- Russian police say they will not investigate a dissident's claim that he was kidnapped in Ukraine and then tortured, citing the "unreliability" of his story.

Leonid Razvozzhayev of the Left Front went public in mid-October, telling political activists who visited him in a Moscow jail the abduction occurred in Kiev when he applied for political asylum, RIA Novosti reported. The kidnappers, he said, used threats to get him to confess, saying they would kill him and his children.

Razvozzhayev is charged in Russia with participating in a plot to stage a coup against President Vladimir Putin. Video footage broadcast on the state television channel NTV is said to show Razvozzhayev and two other activists discussing their plans with a Georgian diplomat.

New charges were brought this week that Razvozzhayev carried out a robbery in Angarsk in East Siberia in 1997. He allegedly staged a theft at gunpoint of 500 fur hats and video cameras.

Vladimir Markin, a spokesman for the Investigation Committee, said Razvozzhayev's story was looked into.

"A number of witnesses were questioned and their testimony indicated the unreliability of Razvozzhayev's claims about his abduction and torture," he said.

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