Russian court orders arrest of dissident journalist Ovsyannikova

FILE PHOTO: Former Russian state TV employee Marina Ovsyannikova attends a court hearing in Moscow

(Reuters) - A Russian court on Thursday ordered the arrest of television journalist Marina Ovsyannikova, Interfax news agency said, more than six months after she flashed a sign on air saying the Kremlin was lying about the Ukraine war.

Ovsyannikova has already fled Russia, her lawyer said this week, after refusing to observe house arrest measures to which she had been subjected.

"With regard to Ovsyannikova, the court ordered her held in custody for one month and 29 days, imposed from the moment the accused is extradited to the Russian Federation or from the moment of her arrest in the Russian Federation," Interfax quoted court officials as saying.

It said the court had refused a request earlier this month from investigators to issue an arrest warrant.

Ovsyannikova had earlier been subject to house arrest on allegations of spreading false information about the armed forces after staging a one-person protest near the Kremlin. Security forces raided her home in August.

Ovsyannikova faces up to 10 years in prison under the rules on spreading false information approved by parliament after the start of the conflict on Feb. 24. She said in an online post this month that she had fled as she had no case to answer.

Ukraine-born Ovsyannikova burst onto the studio platform of Russia's First Channel television during a live broadcast in March holding a placard saying "No war. Stop the war."

She was initially fined for her outburst.

(Reporting by Ronald Popeski; editing by David Ljunggren; editing by Sandra Maler)