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Russian ex-prison official commits suicide in court after being found guilty

The Chertanovsky Court confirmed that Viktor Sviridov shot himself dead after he was found guilty of extorting $158,500

MOSCOW, February 12. /TASS/. Viktor Sviridov, a former head of the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service’s motor transport department has committed suicide in Moscow’s Chertanovsky Court after a judge handed down a guilty verdict in his case, the emergency services informed TASS.

"After the guilty verdict was handed down, Sviridov committed suicide. He died on the spot," TASS was told.

The Chertanovsky Court confirmed that Sviridov shot himself dead after he was found guilty of extorting 10 mln rubles ($158,500), the court’s press service said. "The incident indeed took place in the Chertanovsky Court. When the judge was delivering the verdict, the defendant was in the courtroom and after the judge announced the punishment <…> he used a pistol to commit suicide," the press service specified.

Police and Russia’s Investigative Committee officers are at the scene looking into the details of the incident.

Sviridov was sentenced to three years behind bars in a high-security prison. Since his indictment, he was placed under travel restrictions. The court’s press service added that the authorities are looking into how the defendant managed to carry a weapon into the courtroom.

According to information available to TASS, Sviridov headed the Penitentiary Service’s transport department but resigned more than five years ago.