'Tortured' activist was leading looter - claim

  • 2007-11-22
  • In cooperation with BNS

TALLINN -- Yuri Zhuravlyov, who appeared in Brussels in June tospeak about alleged torture of participants by police during the April 2007 'bronze soldier' riots, was in fact one of the instigators of the looting of a food store , the Postimees newspaper claims.

In the indictment filed against Zhuravlyov onNov. 14, it is recorded that on the night of April 26 he on two occasions threw awooden shelf against the glass windows of the Westmann store in Parnu Road, asa result of which the windows and goods displayed in the windows were broken.

"Together with other individuals he smashed the glassdoor of the Westmann store and illegally entered the premises," prosecutorLeelet Kivioja cited from the part of the indictment that deals with the lootingof the centrally located food and alcohol store, which suffered damage totalling 3 million kroons (192,000 euros) at the hands of vandals.

Zhuravlyov was one of the speakers during an event titled "Torture is Reality in Today's EU," held in Brussels in June atthe initiative of Tatyana Zhdanok, a member of the European Parliament from Latvia.

Zhdanok visited Tallinn inApril to support the actions of Night Vigil, an organization protesting about the relocation of a Soviet war memorial. the controversy surrounding the issue was what sparked the  subsequent riots.

Zhuravlyov, who has described Russia's head of stateVladimir Putin as his president, was formally a suspect in Estoniaat the time of the Brussels event, as a photo from the first night ofthe riots obtained by the police shows him in a crowd in the midst of the havocin Parnu Road carrying a box half filled with beer cans.

On the basis of that photo he is being accused also ofillegally taking possession of property.

Zhuravlyov denies participation in the looting.