A Russian court has ruled that Yury Dmitriyev, a historian and activist who is being tried on child-pornography charges his supporters say are politically motivated, will be released from pretrial custody on January 28.
A court in Petrozavodsk, the capital of the northwestern region of Karelia, issued the order on December 27. It said Dmitriyev would be barred from leaving the city without permission while the investigation continues.
The court also ordered Dmitriyev to undergo a psychiatric examination and called for a new expert assessment of 49 nude photographs of his foster daughter -- the third such evaluation of the images at the center of the case.
Dmitriyev, who heads the Karelia chapter of the human rights group Memorial, has worked for decades to expose crimes committed there by the Soviet state under dictator Josef Stalin.
Investigators claim that Dmitriyev intended to use the photos, which were found in 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.
Each photograph was accompanied by notation of the girl's height, weight, and general health. Many of them appear to have been taken ahead of scheduled visits by social workers, possibly to document that she had been well treated. According to social-services reports, nothing suspicious was ever noted.
On December 26 a group of experts ruled that the photos were not pornography. Prosecutors requested the third assessment of the photos.
Dmitriyev was arrested in December 2016 and went on trial on June 1.