Russian prison chief fired over toga party
Russian authorities fired a prison governor Tuesday after scandalous photographs revealed prisoners holding a toga party with caviar and even taking a delivery of McDonald's takeaway.
The governor of Prison Number 3 in the town of Serpukhov outside Moscow and two of his deputies were fired after an investigation found "blatant breaches" at the jail, the prosecutor-general's office said Tuesday.
Photographs published by Russian tabloid Tvoi Den showed prisoners posing in homemade togas and sitting down to a table loaded with food including dishes of red salmon caviar.
In one snapshot, a prisoner is shown apparently receiving a bag of McDonald's takeaway through the cell door hatch.
The case exposed the practice of jail staff granting privileges to well-connected criminals, who enjoy far better living conditions than usual in Russia's notoriously squalid jails.
The photographs were taken in January at the birthday party of a prisoner convicted of robbery, using an illicit mobile phone, the prosecutor-general's office said.
In a statement, it upbraided the prison management for "blatant breaches of the law" and for failing to "properly oversee the prisoners' behaviour in the cells."
Inmates received the party food in parcels, investigators said, adding however that they did not find evidence that the prisoners had ordered McDonald's takeaway.
"It was not proven that the prisoners had food from a chain of fast food restaurants," the investigation said.
© 2011 AFP