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Russian police charge activist with striking officers during rally

Jan. 3, 2014 at 9:21 AM

MOSCOW, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- Russian investigators said they arrested an opposition activist for allegedly striking police officers during an anti-government rally in Moscow this week.

Sergei Mokhnatkin, 59, was charged with using violence against a state representative following the unsanctioned rally on New Year's Eve, RIA Novosti reported.

If convicted, he faces a sentence of up to five years in prison, officials said.

Mokhnatkin's attorney, Vyacheslav Makarov, said the police officers show no signs of injury and that police beat the activist after detaining him.

A Moscow court ruled Thursday that Mokhnatkin should remain in custody until March 1, RIA Novosti said.

Mokhnatkin previously served time for attacking a police officer during a rally in 2009.

At the time, he said he was attempting to protect an elderly protester who was being attacked by the officer.

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