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Trial Of Russia's 'Pearl Ensign' Resumes In St. Petersburg


Police officer Vadim Boiko, aka "Pearl Ensign' (left), during an opposition protest in St. Petersburg.

Police officer Vadim Boiko, aka "Pearl Ensign' (left), during an opposition protest in St. Petersburg.

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia -- The trial of a former Russian policeman charged with abuse of power during the violent dispersal of an opposition demonstration last summer resumed in St. Petersburg today, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

The trial of Vadim Boiko has been postponed several times due to his repeated hospitalization.

Witnesses to the event on July 31 last year and Boiko's actions there testified in the courtroom today.

In August 2010, a video from the opposition demonstration circulated on the Internet. The clip showed a policeman who looked like Boiko insulting some of the activists and beating them with his truncheon.

The policeman had a noticeable pearl bracelet on his wrist and Internet users dubbed him the "Pearl Ensign." The policeman was later identified as Boiko.

Boiko was sacked from the police force and an investigation was launched into his behavior at the demonstration. The investigation was completed in January and the case sent to the court.

Boiko has pleaded not guilty. He could face up to 10 years in jail if found guilty.

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