A former Russian police officer who was sentenced to life in prison for the killings of 22 women is on trial again, charged with murdering 60 more women.
The second trial of convicted serial killer Mikhail Popkov, 53, began at the Irkutsk regional court in southeastern Siberia on January 10.
The judge announced the charges against Popkov and adjourned the trial until January 15, also ruling that the hearings will be held behind closed doors.
Popkov, a former police officer from the nearby city of Angarsk, was arrested in 2012 after a series of DNA tests linked him to rapes and murders of three women in 1997. He later confessed to killing more women, the authorities said.
In January 2015, Popkov was found guilty of the murder of 22 women and the attempted murder of two women between 1994-2000, and was sentenced to life in prison.
Authorities say he later confessed to killing 59 more women. They say he committed some of the killings while on duty, using his police car and uniform to trap his victims.
As a result of the additional investigation and alleged confessions, Popkov was charged in March 2017 with murdering 60 women.
Even the initial conviction made Popkov -- dubbed the Angarsk Maniac by Russian media -- one of the most prolific known serial killers in Russian and Soviet history.
Andrei Chikatilo was convicted in 1992 and executed in 1994 for raping, butchering, and in some cases cannibalizing as many as 52 people.
With reporting by TASS and Interfax