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Former Russian Police Officer's Trial Postponed Again

Vadim Boiko leaving a courtroom after a hearing in July.
A St. Petersburg court has again postponed a hearing in the case of alleged abuse by former policeman Vadim Boiko, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

The trial was postponed until March 31 because Boiko came to the courtroom from the hospital without written confirmation from a doctor that he is capable of participating in the trial.

The judge summoned physicians to the courtroom and they examined the defendant but did not reach any conclusion about his condition, RFE/RL reported.

The previous session was postponed from February 25 until today after Boiko was hospitalized on February 21 for reasons that remain unclear.

Boiko acquired the nickname "Pearl Ensign" after a video of police breaking up a protest on July 31 was posted online. It showed a police officer who was wearing a white-pearl bracelet insulting and beating demonstrators and dragging them by the hair. The officer was later identified as Boiko.

Boiko pleaded not guilty to the charge of abusing his authority as a police officer. If found guilty, he could face 10 years in prison. He has been dismissed from the police force and ordered not to leave St. Petersburg until the trial ends.

Read more in Russian here