Thu, 20 Jan 2022

Maksim Martsinkevich, a notorious Russian ultranationalist who died in custody last year, is to be tried posthumously on murder charges, a lawyer representing his family said on December 3.

Lawyer Aleksei Mikhalchik told the TASS news agency that the charges filed posthumously against Martsinkevich by the Investigative Committee were based on alleged confessions he had made in a Siberian prison before his death.

The 36-year-old's death in a detention center in the Urals city of Chelyabinsk in September 2020 sparked allegations of foul play.

Officials said Martsinkevich, also known by his nickname Tesak (Machete), committed suicide as he faced a possible life sentence over ethnically charged killings committed in the mid-2000s.

Martsinkevich's parents believe their son was murdered while in custody. Their request to launch a probe into his death have been rejected by Russian authorities.

In addition to his neo-Nazi activities, Martsinkevich founded a homophobic group whose aim was to 'cure' homosexuals.

Russian authorities opened an investigation against him after several videos showing Martsinkevich and his followers humiliating and beating gays circulated on the Internet in 2013.

In late December 2018, a court in Moscow found Martsinkevich guilty of robbery and hooliganism and sentenced him to 10 years in prison.

Before that, Martsinkevich had been convicted three times on extremism charges.

While in prison, he said he had abandoned his neo-Nazi views.

In December 2020, six alleged associates of the ultranationalist were detained and charged with the murders of several individuals from Central Asia.

With reporting by TASS

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Washington DC 20036

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