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Four Anti-Putin Protesters Amnestied, Two Released From Custody

Leonid Kovyazin (left) appears in court for a hearing into the case over mass riots in Moscow's Bolotnaya Square during the opposition rally in May 2012.
A Moscow court has dropped criminal proceedings against four people accused of participating in mass riots one day before Vladimir Putin's inauguration for a third term as president last year.

Vladimir Akimenkov and Leonid Kovyazin, both on trial as part of the so-called Bolotnaya case, were released on December 19 after spending over a year in pretrial detention.

Nikolai Kavkazsky was ordered freed from house arrest, while Maria Baronova had her travel restrictions lifted.

All four were recipients of an amnesty that was passed by parliament on December 18 and immediately went into effect.

Several dozen people were arrested after the mass protest on May 6, 2012, on Moscow's Bolotnaya Square, which ended in clashes with police.

Not all of them will be covered by the amnesty, as some are accused of violence and organizing mass unrest.

Based on reporting by AFP and ITAR-TASS