Blogger Yuri Khovansky wrote an open letter from the pre-trial detention center, in which he said that he, his family and his girlfriend were being threatened with problems. He said that the investigators are demanding that he confess that the song about Nord-Ost was sung in 2018, and not in 2012, and give up his lawyers. Letter published in the Telegram channel of the TV channel “360”.
According to Khovansky, the investigator promised that if he fulfills these conditions, he will simply be fined, but otherwise he will be given a real prison term. Khovansky wrote that he refused this offer. The head of the investigation team gave him two days to think about it and said that if he refused, he and his girlfriend would “have problems.”
“Before that, the opera had already threatened me to plant drugs on her if she didn’t take the complaint,” Khovansky wrote.
“I have already believed this investigator once: he promised to release me on recognizance not to leave, if at the very beginning I gave evidence and did not take 51 articles. I told him that I no longer believe him and that I am not going to admit what I didn’t do, ”the blogger noted.
“I’m scared and I don’t know what to do. I was afraid in a pre-trial detention center before, but I never had to be afraid for loved ones on the other side of the fence. I didn’t think that in Russia in 2021 an investigator could openly threaten the family of the accused and demand to confess what he didn’t commit, ”he wrote.
Khovansky’s girlfriend Maria Nelyubova confirmed the information about the threats in a conversation with The Insider. “He was offered a deal with the investigation, to refuse lawyers and take a lawyer, whom the investigation demands, and give false testimony that he performed the song in 2018. And when he refused, he was threatened with a real term instead of a fine and big problems for me. We didn’t specify exactly what problems, ”she said.
The investigation also ordered a psychiatric examination for Khovansky. According to his lawyer Alexander Peredruk, this is a standard practice, but there is no need for it.
The reason for initiating a case on justifying terrorism was the song performed by Khovansky about the terrorist attack on Dubrovka in 2002 with obscene expressions in relation to the child victims of the terrorist attack. Later, he repeatedly apologized for the performance of this song, but the case was still opened. Also, the video blogger was included in the register of Russian individuals involved in terrorism and extremism.
According to the investigation, Khovansky’s song contained “signs of public calls for terrorist activities, public justification of terrorism and its propaganda.” The blogger faces from five to seven years in prison with a ban on engaging in certain activities.