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Thursday, 14 October 2010

diary chronicling the alleged wrong-doings of Moscow’s riot police

diary chronicling the alleged wrong-doings of Moscow’s riot police has surfaced – even as cops pursue a libel suit against the magazine which first criticised them.
“The diary of a lieutenant” drags conditions in the OMON back into the spotlight a few months after the New Times published a damning expose of institutionalised exploitation and extravagant corruption in the force.
And February’s report – which drew angry denials and legal action from top cops – has now apparently been backed up by Monday’s edition of the magazine, which ran detailed evidence from the diary to support the original “Slaves of the OMON” feature.

OMON officers forced to work 20-hour shifts and arrest at least three people a day were ordered to guard businessmen and gangsters who paid off their bosses, according to February’s original New Times article.
The force responded with a libel action and stormed the publication’s offices last month, prompting a furious response from editor Yevgeniya Albatz.
The diary, published on Monday, adds extra weight to the New Times’ claims as it details a roster of the illegal extra hours the magazine originally brought to the public eye in “Slaves of the OMON”.

Causing a stir
The police have remained tight lipped. Their press service declined to comment beyond, “Presnensky Moscow Court is currently considering a lawsuit against this magazine over defamation contained in the previous article,” Interfax reported.
The magazine say that the diary was given to them by an unknown source, the police say it was stolen from police lieutenant Sergey Morkovin.
If the diary is returned then OMON will not launch criminal proceedings, according to the magazine. Police also claim that a laptop was stolen along with the diary and that the correspondent “would be involved as a partner in crime,” New Times reported.
Law enforcement agents have sent a request to the prosecutor’s office requesting that the facts in “Slaves of the Omon” be looked into.

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