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Escape by helicopter from prison was organized by woman

March 24, 2012, 0:12 UTC+3

The two accomplices in the escape of Alexei Shestakov, who served a 24-year term for murder, make confessions at present

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MOSCOW, March 24 (Itar-Tass) —— The organizer of the escape by helicopter from a high-security prison in the Vologda Region was a woman who had corresponded with the prisoner.

The two accomplices in the escape of Alexei Shestakov, who served a 24-year term for murder, make confessions at present, the Russian Investigative Committee's spokesman Vladimir Markin told Itar-Tass.

Markin confirmed that two persons suspected of the hijacking of a Mi-2 helicopter and involvement in the escape from the prison in Sheksna were detained near the railway station of Dikaya, 12-15 km away from Vologda, on Friday. The man is not the prisoner's brother (media reported earlier that one of the two accomplices was Shestakov's brother).

Tatyana Vazhalina, born in 1976, who had a previous conviction for drug traffic, and Alexander Rusakov, born in 1975, previously convicted for robbery, were detained in the course of the investigation into the criminal case of the helicopter hijacking and the escape organization, the official said.

At present, investigators of the Investigative Committee's Vologda regional department question the detained persons.

It has been established that Shestakov, who escaped from the prison, had corresponded with Vazhalina. The woman confessed to the investigators that it was her who had worked out the escape plan.

When Rusakov was detained he had a passport for Viktor Zelinsky. With the document, they intended to escape. Presenting the passport, Rusakov bought a SIM card for a mobile telephone.

The investigators on Saturday will request the court to place the suspects under arrest. Charges will be brought soon against Vazhalina and Rusakov under Article 211, Part 2, of the Criminal Code (aircraft hijacking by a group with the use of arms and violence threat dangerous for life) and Article 313, Part 2 (escape committed by prior agreement of a group).

Thirty-five-year-old Shestakov was detained a few hours after the escape, when he was in a Nissan car on the way to Yaroslavl. He attempted to fire and was lightly wounded.

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