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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Khinshtein Voluntarily Enters Clinic




Investigative reporter Alexander Khinshtein has checked into a Moscow clinic in an effort to prove he is mentally sound before investigators from the Interior Ministry force him to undergo a psychiatric test.


Khinshtein entered the Health Ministry's Scientific Research Institute of Psychiatrics on Monday for a series of checks that he hopes will prove he was mentally fit to obtain a driver's license in 1996.


The Interior Ministry's investigative committee has accused him of hiding a history of mental problems to obtain the license. Investigator Vladimir Gordienko tried last month to forcibly take Khinshtein for a psychiatric check in the city of Vladimir.


Khinshtein and his colleagues at Moskovsky Komsomolets insist the case has been fabricated on the orders of Interior Minister Vladimir Rushailo to stop him from exposing corruption among high-placed officials. The Journalists Union of Russia and international human rights organization have condemned what they describe as the illegal prosecution of Khinshtein.


Khinshtein could not be reached by phone Tuesday, but his mother, Irina Regerer, said her son had no other choice but to check in voluntarily. "He will prove that he is fit and doesn't have to be taken for any other tests by police," Regerer said by telephone.


Regerer said she still fears that Gordienko may not recognize the results of the tests at the Moscow institute and will subject her son to testing in Vladimir. "I fear they can take him to that clinic and make an invalid out of my son there," she said.


Vladimir Martynov, spokesman for the investigative committee, confirmed that his agency will not recognize the results of the tests that Khinshtein is voluntarily undergoing now and he will have to undergo another examination "properly authorized" by investigator Gordienko.


In the past, Martynov has warned that his committee would not trust a Moscow clinic to check Khinshtein, saying MK's politically connected editors could influence the results.


Khinshtein will be summoned to the Interior Ministry's committee as soon as he checks out of the clinic, the spokesman said.


Reached by telephone Tuesday, officials at the Scientific Research Institute of Psychiatrics, located on Ulitsa Poteshnaya, refused to comment on how Khinshtein's tests have progressed. "It is his right to undergo such a test and we are helping him to do that," a doctor said. He would not elaborate.