A Moscow court extended the detention of accused members of the New Greatness youth activist group as the high-profile trial resumed on May 7.
Defense lawyer Maksim Pashkov wrote on Telegram that the Lyublino District Court in Moscow had extended the defendants’ detention until August 17.
Defendants Maria Dubovik, Anna Pavlikova, and Maksim Roshchin will remain under house arrest while four other defendants -- Vyacheslav Kryukov, Ruslan Kostylenkov, Pyotr Karamzin, and Dmitry Poletayev -- will remain in a detention center until that date.
All the defendants have been charged with creating an extremist group, and they were arrested in March 2018.
Pavlikova was 17 at the time of her arrest. She spent several months under house arrest, which sparked protests in Moscow and other cities.
The defendants say they had turned their online chat criticizing the government into a political movement called New Greatness at the suggestion of a group member. Later, it was revealed that the man who proposed the idea, wrote the movement's charter, and rented premises for the movement's gatherings was a special agent of the Federal Security Service (FSB).
In October 2018, demonstrations to support members of the group were held in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and several other cities across Russia. Police detained dozens of protesters.
In April 2019, another member of the group, Pavel Rebrovsky, was sentenced to 29 months in prison.
Earlier, another member, Rustam Rustamov, received a suspended 18-month prison sentence.
Both pleaded guilty and cut deals with investigators.
One more member of the group, Sergei Gavrilov, who was under house arrest, fled to Ukraine in October 2019, where he has asked for political asylum.