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Russian Investigative Committee declines to open criminal case over the death of neo-Nazi ‘Tesak’

Source: Meduza

The Russian Investigative Committee has declined to open a criminal case over the death of Russian nationalist Maxim Martsinkevich, reports the state news agency TASS. Better known by his nickname “Tesak” (Hatchet), Martsinkevich died in a prison cell in Chelyabinsk in mid-September.

“We have yet to receive an official refusal, but by law, today was the last day to consider the application for the initiation of a criminal case, and a source in the Chelyabinsk investigation told me that the investigator has issued a refusal,” said Martsinkevich’s lawyer Alexey Mikhalchik.

Thirty-six years old, Maxim Martsinkevich was infamous for baiting suspected pedophiles and drug dealers into video-recorded attacks that he then shared online to humiliate them. In December 2018, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison after an attack against one supposed drug dealer resulted in the man’s death. Martsinkevich would have been eligible for early parole as soon as next year.

Maxim Martsinkevich was found dead in a prison cell in a Chelyabinsk pre-trial detention center on September 16. The Investigative Committee stated that shortly before his death, Martsinkevich confessed his involvement in two double murders. Investigators suggested that Martsinkevich committed suicide against the backdrop of the threat of a new prison sentence.

Immediately after his death, Martsinkevich’s family and lawyers expressed doubts that he had taken his own life. Attorney Alexey Mikhalchik, in particular, said that his client was tortured shortly before his death, which forced him to confess to the murders. Martsinkevich’s family wasn’t permitted to have an independent autopsy performed on his body before the funeral.

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