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Russian Activist Charged With Child Pornography 'Psychologically Healthy'

Yury Dmitriyev (right) is escorted by a police officer on his arrival for a court hearing in Petrozavodsk in June.

PETROZAVODSK, Russia -- Russian experts have found Yury Dmitriyev, a historian and activist who is being tried on child pornography charges his supporters say are politically motivated, psychologically healthy.

Dmitriyev's lawyer, Viktor Anufriyev, said that the results of the psychiatric tests conducted by a Moscow-based institute were announced at a Petrozavodsk City Court hearing on February 27.

The Serbsky Institute also found that 49 nude photographs of Dmitriyev's foster daughter have nothing to do with child pornography.

Dmitriyev, who heads the Karelia chapter of the human rights group Memorial, was released from pretrial custody in late January on condition that he wouldn’t leave Petrozavodsk without permission.

The court also ordered him to undergo a psychiatric examination and called for a new expert assessment of the photographs -- the third such evaluation of the images at the center of the case.

Dmitriyev has worked for decades to expose crimes committed in the northwestern region of Karelia by the Soviet state under dictator Josef Stalin.

Investigators claim that Dmitriyev intended to use the photos, which were found on his personal computer, to create pornographic material to share online. He is charged with "preparing and distributing child pornography."

Dmitriyev and his colleagues say the photos were taken because medical workers had asked him to monitor the health and development of the girl, who was malnourished and unhealthy when he and his wife took her in at age 3 with the intention of adopting her. She is now 11 or 12 years old.

Dmitriyev was arrested in December 2016 and went on trial on June 1.