Update on Torture Article

By | April 5, 2017

In my recent article on torture, I mentioned the case of Nikita Belykh, the politically active ex-governor of Kirov Region, who was arrested on a questionable charge in June 2016. On March 17, 2017, Nikita Belykh was indicted on a new bribery charge in a Moscow court. In response, Belykh firmly stated that he “has never taken bribes and has no intention of taking bribes in the future.”

Meanwhile, Belykh has a new severe diagnosis, damage to his brain tissue and spine. His lawyer Andrei Grokhotov told the court: “We doubt that he can leave the prison alive.”

Grokhotov elaborated:

“If I’m not mistaken, he has encephalopathy (organic brain disease, in which the brain tissue changes dystrophically, which leads to a disruption of its function). And the diagnosis is already encephalopathy of the second degree. He has never had it before in his life. The symptoms appeared in prison and can be associated with diabetes and high blood pressure. […] He started complaining about headaches (a sign of the disease) at the the beginning of the new year. And he is also suffering from pain in his spine, which points to changes in the bone tissue of the spine”.

On March 29, 2017, the pre-trial investigation ended, and Belykh was officially indicted with taking bribes of 600,000 euros from 2012 to 2017. Belykh denies the charges.

Author: Vadim Birstein

Dr. Vadim J. Birstein is a historian and geneticist. He is the author of over 300 scientific papers and books and has written two scholarly historical works, "The Perversion of Knowledge: The True Story of Soviet Science" and "SMERSH, Stalin's Secret Weapon: Soviet Military Counterintelligence in WWII". He received the inaugural "St. Ermin's Intelligence Book Award" in 2012 for SMERSH.

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