Update on a Ukraine-related trial in Grozny

The fast-track trial of Alexander Malofeyev ended on September 30th. This month, the court will probably issue a “motivated ruling” raising the status of the defendant’s statements to that of a judicially established “truth.” All sorts of outlandish claims could be so legitimized.

As expected, Malofeyev was found guilty of playing a part in killing and torturing Russian POWs in Chechnya in 1994-5 and sentenced to 14 years in a maximum security labor camp. However the new prison term will be partly concurrent with the 23-year term he has been serving since 2009 or earlier for his role in a robbery that left two women with throats slit. His new sentence is 24.5 years, but it has not been reported if it will be counted from 2009 or 2015. Depending on that, his additional term could be one and a half to approximately eight years – for crimes including murder and attempted murder of servicemen on duty, and an attempt on the life of military personnel.

According to Malofeyev’s lawyer, he is HIV-positive and has hepatitis C. The average life expectancy of a Russian HIV-infected prisoner is probably less than Malofeyev’s term. The time added to his sentence must be less important to him than the medical treatment and prison conditions in the next few years. He is a convenient witness for the state.

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