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Pretrial Jail Time Prolongation Upheld For Russian Soccer Stars

Aleksandr Kokorin (left) and Pavel Mamayev
Aleksandr Kokorin (left) and Pavel Mamayev

An appeals court has upheld a decision to keep Russian soccer players Pavel Mamayev and Aleksandr Kokorin in jail through early February on battery charges over the beating of a government official at a Moscow coffee shop.

In a December 18 decision, the Moscow City Court also upheld the prolongation of the pretrial arrests of two other suspects in the case -- Kokorin's younger brother, Kirill, and Aleksandr Protasovitsky.

Zenit St. Petersburg striker Kokorin, Krasnodar F.C. midfielder Mamayev, and the other two are charged with battery and premeditated hooliganism in connection with an October 8 assault that attracted widespread attention in Russia.

They are accused of beating Denis Pak, an ethnic Korean official from the Ministry for Industry and Trade, after he rebuked them for behaving improperly in a central Moscow coffee shop.

Moscow's Tver District Court ruled on December 5 that the suspects would remain in jail until February 8 pending further investigation and possible trial.

The pretrial detention period is subject to further extension.

A video taken by a surveillance camera and broadcast by national television stations showed Pak being hit over the head with a chair and slapped in the face.

The four men are also accused of beating Vitaly Solovchuk, a driver for television journalist Olga Ushakova, in a separate altercation near a Moscow hotel on the same day.

That attack was also caught on surveillance camera footage that has been broadcast on television in Russia.

The attacks damaged the reputation of Russian soccer after the country's successful hosting of the 2018 World Cup in June and July.

They topped Russian television newscasts at the time, and officials and lawmakers called for the players to be punished.

Based on reporting by Interfax and TASS