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Kushchevskaya whistle-blower faces accusations

KrasnodarAfter blowing the whistle on alleged criminal collusion in Krasnodar region, Ekaterina Rogoza is now facing a similar raft of charges about her own work.

The investigator went public on the cosy relationship between cops and gangsters which many claim led to the Kushchevskaya massacre early in November.

But a statement from the prosecutor general's office has implicated Rogoza in the same cover-up.

Plea to the president

In her recording Rogoza asked Dmitry Medvedev to look into the fate of a case involving one of the suspects in the Kushchevskaya case.

She said she was ordered to drop the investigation by her superiors due to the influence of crime gangs in the region.

But Marina Gridneva of the prosecutors office told RIA Novosti: "Given that Rogoza long ago took an illegal decision to dismiss the criminal case, there is reason to assume that her actions are not disinterested.

"In July 2009 the investigator made the decision not to institute criminal proceedings against [Kushchevskaya suspect Vladimir] Alexeyev, not seeing any evidence of extortion."

Familiar story

The efforts to cast doubt on Rogoza's complaints follow a well-established pattern which has seen other police whistle-blowers fall foul of the force.

In September this year The Moscow News reported that Yekaterinburg-based cop Tatyana Domracheva was fired shortly after posting a damning indictment of her superiors on YouTube.

And the grandfather of Russian whistle-blowers, Alexei Dymovsky, was detained on fraud charges after posting his ground-breaking expose of police corruption.

Earlier this year Moscow police trade union chairman Mikhail Pashkin told The Moscow News that those who risked speaking out were typically threatened with jail.

More arrests

Officers investigating the Kushchevskaya case have made two further arrests, including Vladimir Alexeyev, who was named in Rogoza's video.

And Lifenews claimed that another suspect, Vitaly Ivanov, had confessed to four of the killings and attempted suicide.

Also a local branch of United Russia's Civic Platform social movement branded Krasnodar Region a "Russian Sicily".

To head off a rise in public protests and restore faith in the ruling party and the government, members of the group called for amendments to the criminal and civil procedure codes, gzt.ru reported.

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