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Nemtsov Not Surprised By Court Decision Denying Registration to PARNAS

MOSCOW. Aug 22 (Interfax) - Senior members of the People's Freedom Party (PARNAS) are aware that no Russian court will ever rule against the Justice Ministry's decision not to register the party, PARNAS co-chairman Boris Nemtsov told Interfax.

"We are not at all surprised by today's decision by Moscow's Zamoskvoretsky Court, which upheld the legitimacy of the Justice Ministry's decision not to register our party. We knew it would be like that," Nemtsov said.

Earlier on Monday, the Zamoskvoretsky Court threw out lawsuits filed by the party's lawyer, Vadim Prokhorov, and the co-chairman of the party's Altai regional branch, Vladimir Nebalzin.

"When it comes to a civil litigation with the Putin government, one can forget about justice. We are well aware of it," said the opposition politician, adding that the today's judgment is just another proof of it.

"Representatives from the Justice Ministry had no scruples about stating that the European Convention on Human Rights, which the ministry has violated by denying our party registration, is no authority to them," Nemtsov added.

The party leaders are going to appeal against the court's decision with the Moscow City Court, so as to be able to complain to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg later, he said. "And we are going to do this," Nemtsov said.

According to officials from the Justice Ministry, it was decided not to register the party because its lists of 46,000 members were compiled with 79 irregularities.

In particular, party members included the underage, former convicted criminals and "dead souls." Also, several dozen people, when checked, refused to confirm their party membership, the ministry representatives said.

For his part, Prokhorov said the number of violations was "negligible" and that people who have joined the party's regional branches were coerced to write a statement denying their membership in the PARNAS.

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