Police Abuse Probe Completed in Russia

MOSCOW, May 14 (RIA Novosti) – Investigators said on Tuesday they have wrapped up an investigation into eight former police officers of a Russian precinct notorious for the fatal torture of a detainee last year, ending a year-long probe into the case that has become a vivid stain on Russia’s attempted police reform.

The Dalny police precinct made headlines last March after 52-year-old Sergei Nazarov died in hospital from injuries allegedly sustained by being sodomized with a champagne bottle by police officers after he was illegally detained in the city of Kazan, the regional capital of Russia’s Tatarstan republic. An inquiry into the death revealed a series of other unrelated criminal episodes, including similar allegations of abuse, at the same police precinct.

Eight former officers of the precinct, most of whom are in their 20s, are accused of abusing their office and inflicting injuries causing death, the Investigative Committee said in a statement on Tuesday. All of them deny the charges.

The case will now be sent for review by prosecutors.

Last year, two other former policemen, Ramilya Nigmatzyanov and Ilshat Garifullin, were respectively sentenced to two and 2 1/2 years behind bars for exceeding their authority in connection with the same case. They were tried separately as they had reached a plea bargain with prosecutors.

A separate case has also been opened against the precinct’s former head, 45-year-old Ilgiz Akhmetzyanov, due to the condition of his health.

The so-called Dalny police incident fuelled a wave of public uproar against Russian police, and became a major embarrassment to then-President Dmitry Medvedev, who had initiated reforms aimed at curtailing widespread lawlessness in the police force.

The local police department was renamed, and the interior minister of Tatarstan lost his job over the incident.


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