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Controversial Russian 'Healer' Released From Jail

Grigory Grabovoi
Grigory Grabovoi
BEREZNIKI, Russia -- A popular but controversial Russian "healer" who claimed he could raise people from the dead has been released from jail, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

The decision to release Grigory Grabovoi, 46, on parole was made on May 6 by a court in the west-central city of Berezniki, in Perm Oblast, where he was serving an eight-year jail term for fraud. He was released on May 21.

Later, Berezniki's prosecutor filed a motion demanding the revision of the court's decision to release Grabovoi on parole, saying that he remains "a threat to public safety." The Perm Oblast court overruled the prosecutor's motion earlier this week.

A Moscow court found Grabovoi guilty in 2008 on 11 counts of fraudulently obtaining money and sentenced him to 11 years in prison. Another court later reduced the sentence by three years.

Grabovoi, who was born in Kazakhstan, established a foundation that received large sums of money from people whom he promised to cure of deadly diseases and even to resurrect their deceased relatives. He appeared often on television and became very famous in Russia and other former Soviet republics.

Grabovoi's case became well known in Russia after it was reported that some of the parents of children killed in September 2004 during the Beslan school siege were among his "clients."

The nongovernmental organization Mothers of Beslan denied that any of its members had paid for Grabovoi's services.