2 Policemen Convicted Over Suspect's Death

MOSCOW - A Moscow court on Wednesday convicted two police officers of negligence in the death of detainee Alexander Pumane, who was picked up driving a car rigged with explosives in 2004. The Presnensky District Court convicted Andrei Semigin, former head of the Presnensky district police precinct, and Iosif Smerek, a duty officer at the precinct, for their role in Pumane's death.


Semigin was given a two-year suspended sentence, while Smerek was sentenced to two years in a labor colony, Interfax reported.
Prosecutor Alexander Dementyev had asked that both men receive three years in prison.
Pumane was detained Sept. 18 near Patriarch's Ponds with two land mines and 200 grams of TNT in his car.
Pumane died several hours later in the hospital after being interrogated by law enforcement officers. Doctors said he suffered severe brain injuries from a brutal beating.
Prosecutors said Semigin handed Pumane over to interrogators without written authorization and that Smerek illegally issued a billy club that was used to beat the suspect.
Semigin and Smerek both told the court that they were following orders from superior officers, Interfax reported.
The man charged with beating Pumane to death, Major Vyacheslav Dushenko, a counter-terrorism police officer, is at large and being sought by authorities.

Von: 31.03.06 http://www.times.spb.ru

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