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Russian Prosecutor Seeks Four-Year Sentence For 'Pearl Ensign'


Officer Vadim Boiko (left) during an opposition protest in St. Petersburg in July 2010

Officer Vadim Boiko (left) during an opposition protest in St. Petersburg in July 2010

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia -- The prosecutor in the trial of a Russian policeman accused of verbally and physically abusing demonstrators asked the court today to sentence him to four years in jail, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

The prosecutor in St. Petersburg's Kuibyshev district court said that former policeman Vadim Boiko's guilt has been proven but the fact that he has a young son should be taken into account and therefore he should receive a four-year sentence.

Boiko's case stems from a video that surfaced on the Internet in August 2010 showing a policeman who was later identified as Boiko insulting some activists at a July 31 demonstration and then beating them with his truncheon.

Boiko, 36, wore a pearl bracelet on his wrist and was dubbed the "Pearl Ensign" by people on the Internet. He was then sacked by the police and went on trial earlier this year.

The trial has been postponed several times due to the defendant's repeated hospitalization. Boiko has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The trial's next session is scheduled for December 14.

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