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Court to question former Sverdlovsk region police officer accused of negligence

March 04, 2014, 18:59 UTC+3 YEKATERINBURG
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YEKATERINBURG, March 04. /ITAR-TASS/. A court in the Sverdlovsk region will question on March 7 former chief of a local police department Marat Khalimov accused of negligence that resulted in riots in the village of Sagra in 2011.

"The trial which began back on February 13, 2013, is nearing its end. After the questioning of the defendant, the parties will start presenting their arguments," a Verkhnyaya Pyshma district court official told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.

The trial dragged on as a number of witness, 200 in total, failed to appear despite repeated summons issued by the court.

Investigators said Colonel Marat Khalimov's negligence resulted in improper performance of duties by his subordinates Sergei Zinovyev and Vadim Zainiyev who were responsible for checking compliance with the regulations for keeping firearms.

The checks into compliance with the firearms regulations were careless. "As a result, one of the masterminds behind the Sagra riot illegally stayed in the village for a long time, while another illegally kept a firearm that was later used in the fight," spokesman for the regional department of the Investigative Committee Alexander Shulga told Itar-Tass.

Khalimov pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Zinovyev and Zainiyev were sentenced on February 12, 2013, to three years and two months in a general regime penitentiary and 10 months of community work, respectively. The court also ordered to withhold 10 percent of Zainiyev's salary during the penalty period in favor of the state. However, on December 13, 2013, Sverdlovsk region court considered their appeal in connection with statute of limitation, under which Zainiyev was fully exempt from punishment and Zinovyev's prison term was cut to ten months (Zinovyev was also found guilty of exceeding authority).

According to the investigators, "in the summer of 2011, two residents of the Sagra settlement — Valentina and Vyacheslav Lebedev, after quarrelling with local residents, phoned their relative Ivan Lebedev in prison and asked him to stage mass riots in the village for 30,000 rubles."

Lebedev instructed his friend Shota Katamadze to work out a plan of attack. The gang then phoned their acquaintances and rounded up at least 30 people.

"Having armed themselves with a sawn-off shotgun, non-lethal pistols, baseball bats, wooden sticks, metal rods and other hard objects, they came in 13 cars to Sagra and staged mass disturbances at the entrance to Sagra overnight to July 1. A 28-year-old resident of Yekaterinburg was killed in the shooting. The attackers threatened physical violence on injured parties, and fired several shots. The attackers withdrew as they heard a police detail was on their way to the village," prosecutors said.

Searches at defendants' apartments found air pistols, nunchucks, baseball bats, batons, brass knuckles, an axe, and assault rifle and machine gun ammunition.

On March 19, 2013, a court announced the verdict in the Sagra fight. Of 23 persons in the prisoner's dock, six got prison terms. Ivan Lebedev was sentenced to six years in a maximum security penitentiary, Kakhaber Chichua to four years and one month in a maximum security penitentiary, Shota Katamadze, Artyom Rabadanov and Vyacheslav Lebedev got four years each in a general regime penitentiary and Shokhin Zaripov was sentenced to one year and eight months. Later, the court sentenced Magomed Bekov to one year and three months in prison. On August 2, the Supreme Court softened the penalty for Artyom Rabadanov and Shota Katamadze to suspended sentences.

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