Mon, 17 Dec 2018
35
Hartford

A Russian court has prolonged the pretrial detention periods of two soccer players accused of beating a government official at a Moscow coffee shop.

The Tver District Court in the capital ruled on December 5 that Zenit St. Petersburg striker Aleksandr Kokorin and Krasnodar F.C. midfielder Pavel Mamayev will remain in jail until February 8, pending further investigation and possible trial.

Pretrial detentions for Kokorin's younger brother Krill and the soccer players' friend Aleksandr Protasovitsky were also prolonged until the same date. The pretrial detention period is subject to further extension.

The four have been 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 Russian Ministry for Industry and Trade, after he rebuked them for behaving improperly in a central Moscow coffee shop.

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

The four men are also accused of beating Vitaly Solovchuk, the driver of 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 have topped Russian television newscasts, prompting officials and lawmakers to call for the players to be punished.

The incident was also a blow to the reputation of Russian soccer after the country's successful hosting of the 2018 World Cup in June and July.

With reporting by RFE/RL's Russian Service, Medizona, Interfax, and TASS RFE/RL

RFE/RL journalists report the news in 23 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established.

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Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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