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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

3 Police Sentenced to Jail for Torture

Moscow's Nagatinsky District Court convicted three city police officers Monday of torturing an engineering student during an interrogation, handing down sentences of up to seven years.

Yelena Volchkova was sentenced to seven years, Yury Popov to six years and Konstantin Pukhov to 5 1/2 years for beating Dmitry Nosov in an effort to extract a confession from him, Interfax reported. Unidentified police officers burst into Nosov's Moscow apartment in March 2004 without producing a search warrant and started sifting through his belongings. They then handcuffed him and took him to the headquarters of the Tsaritsyno district branch of the Moscow police.

It is there that Major Volchkova ordered her subordinates, Popov and Pukhov, to handcuff Nosov and beat him up using police clubs, prosecutors told the court, Interfax reported. The duo also kicked the student, put a gas mask on him and cut off his air supply in an effort to convince the Moscow Engineering and Physics Institute student to confess to robbing a kiosk, the prosecutors said.

In addition to this form of torture, referred to in slang as slonik, or "little elephant," Nosov was also subjected to other physical assaults so humiliating that his lawyers had the press and public removed from the courtroom before describing them.

Nosov spent six hours in the Tsaritsyno police building before he was released with a concussion and multiple injuries, according to a report from a doctor who examined him after he was released, Interfax reported.

All three defendants had pleaded not guilty to the charges, with Volchkova claiming that Nosov was mentally unstable and prone "to fantasizing."

The judge, however, handed down the guilty ruling and, along with the prison sentences, ordered them to pay 120,000 rubles (about $4,900) in damages to the student, Interfax reported.