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21 Mar, 2008 20:08

Opposition leader freed before trial

A court in St Petersburg has ordered the release of anti-Kremlin activist Maksim Reznik ahead of his trial for allegedly assaulting a police officer. The detention of the city’s Yabloko Party leader had led to protest marches.

Reznik was arrested in early March.

Party members say the accusations against him were fabricated.

Reznik faces trial but the court reversed a previous decision to jail him for two months pending trial.

The court ruling comes after Yabloko leader Grigory Yavlinsky met President Putin amid pressure from Russia's human rights ombudsman.