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Russian Court Convicts Police Whistle-Blower

Former police Major Aleksei Dymovsky walks past a video screen showing Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
A Russian court has convicted a police officer of slander for his Internet denunciation of abuse and corruption within the police department.

A district court in the southern city of Novorossiisk says it ordered former Major Aleksei Dymovsky to pay the equivalent of $1,800 to each of the two police commanders criticized in his YouTube videos in November 2009.

Dymovsky claims in the videos that the officials promised him a promotion if he jailed an innocent person, and forced officers to fake reports on unsolved crimes. The videos were seen by 700,000 people and provoked a public outcry in a country where people have become increasingly angry about police abuse. Dymovsky was fired from the police force.

Since he went public with his complaints, police have also searched the homes of Dymovsky's relatives.

Critics allege that corruption is rife within the ranks of the Russian police force.

compiled from RFE/RL and agency reports