Russian policeman sacked for beating journalist
A police major in the Moscow region has been sacked after he hit a woman television journalist in a parking dispute, the regional police service said on Monday.
The acting chief detective of the town of Moskovsky, Major Alexei Klimov, struck journalist Natalya Seibil in an unprovoked attack on Sunday night, police said in a statement.
Seibil ticked off Klimov for parking his personal car illegally at around 8:30 pm local time and he responded "with inappropriate behaviour, hitting her," the regional police said.
In a swift reaction, the regional police chief sacked the police officer and offered Seibil "sincere apologies," adding that "only true professionals should stay in the police service."
Seibil gave the RIA Novosti news agency a different account, saying that Klimov had tried to chat her up as she walked her dog and she turned him down.
The policeman then got out of his car and punched her in the face before throwing her onto the car bonnet and handcuffing her, Seibil said, photographed with a black eye and bruised cheek.
Seibil said she was glad her case was taken seriously but told RIA Novosti she thought this was only because she was a journalist and the attack had been widely reported.
"Thanks are due to my colleagues. If I had not been a journalist, nothing would have happened to him," she said.
Seibil worked until recently at TVTs television channel and previously edited shows at the Channel One state-owned television channel, RIA Novosti reported.
Russia's investigative committee said it was looking into the incident to decide whether to launch a criminal case.
The attack came after President Dmitry Medvedev sacked a number of high-ranking police chiefs last week as he seeks to cut the bloated service and raise salaries.
© 2011 AFP