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St. Petersburg Trial Of 'Pearl Ensign' Postponed

Former officer Vadim Boiko denies wrongdoing.
Former officer Vadim Boiko denies wrongdoing.
ST. PETERSBURG -- A St. Petersburg court has postponed the trial of a policeman charged with abusing demonstrators last summer, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Vadim Boiko became known in Russia as the "Pearl Ensign" after a video of police intervening in a July protest was posted online.

It showed a policeman insulting and beating demonstrators and dragging them by the hair. The policeman in the video wore a white-pearl bracelet and Internet users dubbed him "the Pearl Ensign" before he was later identified as Boiko.

The court ruled that the trial should be postponed until February 15, as Boiko has changed his lawyer. The judge stated that Boiko's previous lawyer had suddenly refused to represent him in court.

Boiko, who has denied wrongdoing, could face 10 years in jail if found guilty of abusing his authority as a police officer. He was fired from his job and told not to leave St. Petersburg until his trial is finished.

Read more in Russian here