Court frees Russian opposition leader Udaltsov

AP News
Posted: Mar 16, 2012 3:14 PM
Court frees Russian opposition leader Udaltsov

A Moscow court has freed a Russian opposition leader a day after he was sent to jail for 10 days.

Sergei Udaltsov was found guilty of disobeying police during a protest rally last weekend, a charge he denies.

The same Moscow court that convicted him and jailed him reversed its decision Friday. Instead, it ordered Udaltsov to pay a fine of 1,000 rubles ($33).

Udaltsov told Ekho Moskvy radio the change was unexpected and may have resulted from public appeals for his release. He had gone on a hunger strike as soon as he was jailed.

Udaltsov, who leads a leftist movement, was among the organizers of the unprecedented protests against Prime Minister Vladimir Putin that drew tens of thousands in recent months.