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Kazan Court Starts Hearings In Police Torture Case

A policeman stands near a poster, flowers, and a champagne bottle left by protesters during their rally against police abuse outside the local Interior Ministry headquarters in Kazan in March.
A court in Kazan, capital of Russia's Tatarstan Republic, has begun hearings in a high-profile case of alleged torture by police.

Two former police officers, Ilshat Garifullin and Ramil Nigmatziyanov, are charged with illegally arresting a local citizen who died after allegedly being beaten and raped with a champagne bottle while in police custody.

The March incident sparked protests across Russia and led to the dismissal of Tatarstan's Interior Minister Asgat Safarov.

In a separate civil lawsuit, the victim's relatives have demanded 1 million rubles ($31,500) from the two police officers.

The presiding judge ruled on September 11 that the court proceedings cannot be filmed.

Four other former police officers have been charged with torturing the victim to death.

Based on reporting by Interfax and RIA Novosti