Vladimir Bukovsky
Vladimir Bukovsky is due to appear in court to face the chargesGetty

Former Soviet dissident and political activist Vladimir Bukovsky has been charged with possessing and making child abuse images.

Bukovsky, 72, is accused of five counts of making indecent images of children, five counts of possession of indecent images of children and one charge of possession of a prohibited image.

Some of the images Bukovsky is accused of making and possession are listed as Category A, meaning there are of the "most serious" kind.

Bukovsky, who once attempted to challenge Vladimir Putin to the Russian presidency in 2008, has been summoned to appear at Cambridge Magistrates' Court on 5 May to face the charges.

Jenny Hopkins, chief crown prosecutor for the CPS in the East of England, said: "Following an investigation by Cambridgeshire Police, we have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to prosecute Vladimir Bukovsky in relation to the alleged making and possessing of indecent images of children.

"It is alleged that, collectively, the images meet the definition of categories A, B and C, as defined by Sentencing Council Guidelines. The decision to prosecute was taken in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors."

Hopkins added: "May I remind all concerned that Mr Bukovsky has a right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings."