Russia jails policeman over journalist's death

11th February 2011, Comments 0 comments

A former Russian policeman was sentenced Friday to 12 years in a labour camp for beating to death a journalist in Siberia, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.

Alexei Mitayev, 26, was found guilty of having beaten journalist Konstantin Popov in January 2010 after tying him to a bed in a prison cell in Siberia's Tomsk region, the report said.

Popov was released but several hours later was hospitalised. He fell into a coma and died about two weeks later of serious internal injuries.

Mitayev admitted to the beating and said he acted under stress.

He was expelled from the police force following his arrest and President Dmitry Medvedev ordered the firing of a local police chief over the scandal.

Russia is regularly criticised by rights groups and the European Court of Human Rights over police violence. Medvedev in late 2009 ordered an overhaul of the country's police police forces, which was approved by parliament earlier this year.

© 2011 AFP

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