Russian former prison official kills himself in court

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A former Russian prison service official has killed himself in court after he was sentenced to three years in jail, Russian media report.

Viktor Sviridov was at one time the head of the federal prison service’s motor transport department. He was convicted of extorting 10 million rubles (£121,000) from the service’s former deputy director.

Just moments after the judge ordered he be taken into custody, Sviridov shot himself in the head.

A court spokeswoman quoted on Russian news site RBC says he is thought to have brought the gun into the court himself.

Sviridov was reportedly ill with stage four terminal cancer. He was under house arrest before the trial, which took place at Moscow’s Chertanovsky court.

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