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ULAN UDE, November 23 (Itar-Tass) —— A young man who was the injured party in the case of abuse of power by policemen in the town of Mogocha, TransBaikal Territory, has been detained on suspicion of being involved in the plunder of a jewelry shop, a spokesman for the territorial interior department told Itar-Tass on Friday.
“The 19-year-old man was detained when he tried to take a bag with the stolen jewels from a hiding place,” the spokesman said.
“Early on November 22, two unidentified men wearing masks broke into the Zolotoi Luch jewelry shop and stole gold and silver item from the showcase to a sum of 180,000 roubles and fled. According to surveillance camera records, it took them about one minute to plunder the shop,” the spokesman said. “Policemen found a bag with the stolen items in a hiding place at a deserted bomb shelter some 100 meters away from the shop. Policemen made an ambush at this place. At about 14:00 local time, presumable robbers came here to take the bag. One of them was detained. The young man was identified as a local resident who this spring complained of being forces by police to confess in a crime.”
The case of abuse of power by local police stirred up a wide public response. On November 13, the regional department of the Russian Investigations Committee said that four policemen of the Mogochinsky police precinct had been fired for abuse of power. The press service of the territorial interior department told Itar-Tass that “according to inspection materials, during 2009-2012 the suspects, being police officers, used violence and tortures against Mogocha residents, forcing them to confess of committing crimes.”
The officers of the Mogochinsky police precinct suspected of torturing the detainees, were charged in May 2012. The Trans-Baikal investigation department of the Russian Investigations Committee said then that among the illegal interrogation methods practiced in this police station the investigation were beatings of detainees, torturing them with putting on gas masks with blocking air supply, or placing acetone in the gas mask tube. In addition, the policemen used electric shock against the detainees and binding people.
“It might be a reason why the young man demonstrated imprudent behavior while being detained,” the spokesman said. “The threatened the policemen with sacking and refused to give evidence. But employees of the shop have identified him. A criminal case has been opened of robbery charges.”