Three police officers in western Siberia received suspended sentences for detaining an innocent passer-by and delivering a brutal beating that left him with bruises and broken ribs, local investigators said on Friday.
The officers, Vladimir Chopik, Igor Boldyrev and Yury Chernoglazov, detained the man when investigating a crime in an apartment building in the city of Novokuznetsk, in the Kemerovo region, in March 2011, the regional branch of the Investigative Committee said.
It remains unclear what prompted the officers to detain the 43-year-old man, whose name has been withheld, and no valid reason was identified. But nevertheless they beat him up, tied his hands with a belt and drove him away, the committee said on its website.
The man’s wife and neighbors failed to stop the officers, the report said, and he needed to be taken directly to hospital after being released by the police, who have subsequently been dismissed from employment with the police.
In a court ruling delivered this week the three officers were convicted of abuse, with Chopik and Boldyres receiving three-year suspended sentences and Chernoglazov a three and a half-year suspended sentence, the report said. The trio could have faced up to 10 years behind bars on the charges.
It remains unclear whether the defense or the prosecutors intend to appeal.
Russian police brutality has been the subject of intense media scrutiny in recent months with to a string of scandals rocking the recently reformed force, including a Tatarstan incident which saw police kill a former criminal by raping him with a champagne bottle.