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Britain Charges Former Soviet Dissident Bukovsky Over 'Indecent Images'

Former Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky has denied British charges of making indecent images of children.

Bukovsky, who will face 11 charges of making and holding indecent images of children in court on May 5, said in a statement on April 27 that he "absolutely denies" the accusations and will "vigorously defend" himself against them.

Bukovsky, 72, has lived in Britain since 1976 when the Soviet Union exchanged him for Chilean Communist Party leader Luis Corvalan.

He has been extremely critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin and accused the Kremlin of involvement in the radiation-poisoning death of former Russian intelligence officer Aleksandr Litvinenko in London in 2006.

Bukovsky -- who attempted to run in the 2008 Russian presidential election -- told RFE/RL last year that Russian Embassy officials had refused to renew his Russian passport because of his anti-Putin comments.

First arrested in the early 1960s, Bukovsky spent 12 years in prisons and psychiatric hospitals for his activism and "anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda."

Bukovsky was among the first to report the Soviets' use of psychiatric institutions to punish political prisoners.

With reporting by AFP and Reuters
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