Russia: Editor freed on bail

Nikolai Andrushchenko, co-founder and editor of the newspaper Novy Peterburg, was freed on bail according to a decision taken by the Dzerzhinski District Court of St Petersburg, on 20 May 2008.

Nikolai Andrushchenko was initially sentenced to two months of pre-trial detention on charges of defamation and obstruction of justice on 24 November 2007. On expiry of the sentence, he was sent to a psychiatric institution. Following that, his detention was extended further until after the March Russian Presidential elections. The term was extended yet again, and expired in late May.

The police claimed that Andrushchenko was suspected of defaming officials in his writings, while his supporters believe that his imprisonment is the result of Novy Peterburg’s critical reporting of local authorities and its pro-opposition articles in the run-up to the country’s parliamentary elections on 2 December 2007.

For more information on Andrushchenko’s case, please click here.

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