"I really was asleep. What else was there to do?" adds Luzin Jr.
Court proceedings began at the end of March. Ivan Jr. did not plead guilty and said that he had only photographed his acquaintances holding posters. The defence insisted that the protest itself did not take place, and the charges were fabricated.
Ivan Jr. recalls these events: “I see now that I made mistakes during the process. It was just absurd. But if I hadn’t admitted to any of it, then it would be completely absurd. It was quite stressful. At some points, I gave fairly contradictory testimonies. It wasn’t a great defence. It is unlikely that this would have made any difference, but I like to think that I did everything I could.”
Alina, who was also at the protest, was a witness at the trial. She said that the police officers who had arrested them did not introduce themselves, nor did they explain where they were being taken or what exactly they were accused of. She also noted that she was not read her rights and was not allowed to contact a lawyer. Instead, she was only permitted to call her parents. The defence insisted on summoning the police officers who had arrested the teenagers. But the judge said that violations during the detention of minors were a matter for another case. In the end, there was no “other case.”
The court found Ivan Jr. guilty on both counts and fined him 20 thousand rubles for holding an unauthorised action and a further 30 thousand rubles for involving minors. Members of the Libertarian Party raised money to help pay the fines. The defence tried, unsuccessfully, to challenge the verdict.