St Petersburg opposition leader arrested

Police in Russia arrested Olga Kurnosova, leader of the St Petersburg faction of the liberal opposition party, United Civic Front (OGF), on 4 October 2008. The arrest took place at 11 pm at the station of Verkhny Baskunchak as Ms Kurnosova was returning by train from Astrakhan, where she attended a regional meeting on the establishment of a united All-Russian opposition movement.

Ms Kurnosova is accused under Article 175 of the Criminal Code (“Acquisition or Sale of Property, Knowingly Obtained in a Criminal Manner”) for being in possession of a can of black caviar, which she received as a gift from OGF activists in Astrakhan. A ban on the collection of black caviar is in force as of August 2008. The ban does not apply to caviar from artificially bred fish.

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