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Russian activist put under house arrest

Court's decision comes amid accusations Sergei Udaltsov incited mass disorder to overthrow President Putin's government.
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2013 16:39
Opposition leader Sergei Udaltsov faces 10 years in prison if a probe leads to a conviction [AP]

A Russian court has put prominent opposition leader Sergei Udaltsov under house arrest for two months amid accusations he incited mass disorder to overthrow President Vladimir Putin, local media reported.

The Basmanny court in Moscow ruled on Saturday that Udaltsov, 35, was not allowed to leave his Moscow home without permission from the authorities until April 6.

He also cannot maintain contact with relatives or lawyers and is banned from using the internet and telephone, the Interfax news agency reported. 

The court was responding to a request by investigators who said Udaltsov was not showing good behaviour and not cooperating with the authorities.

The judge said that Udaltsov could flee abroad or "try to carry out his criminal intentions".

The 35-year-old leader of the Left Front, who until now has remained under travel restrictions that prevented him from leaving Moscow, faces 10 years in prison if a probe leads to a conviction.

Udaltsov was among several opposition figures charged with riots and violence against police during a protest against Putin last May on the eve of his inauguration for a third presidential term.

Authorities opened a probe after state-controlled television broadcast a documentary in October that alleged Udaltsov was plotting a violent uprising against Putin's government.

Udaltsov denies the accusations.

Russia's investigative committee said on Friday that Udaltsov was being uncooperative with authorities.

"Sergei Udaltsov has not lived where he is registered for a long time, his mobile phones are often switched off, making it more difficult to summon the accused by the investigator," the committee said in a statement.

The committee said that Udaltsov "continues to commit illegal acts", saying the activist had taken part in an unauthorised protest.

On Thursday, another opposition activist was arrested over the May protests. That brought to 12 the total number of people detained and awaiting trial. One person has already been convicted over the May unrest.

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