A fuming dad who attacked his best friend when he discovered that he had sexually abused his young daughter has not been charged with murder.
Vyacheslav (Slava) Matrosov, 34, was suspected of killing Oleg Sviridov, 32, in a forest in Russia after making him dig his own grave.
The incident took place after Matrosov accidentally stumbled across graphic videos on Sviridov’s phone showing his six-year-old daughter made to perform sex acts while she pleaded that she wanted to go home.
Matrosov originally faced a murder investigation, but now he has been told this has been dropped, according to sources close to the case.
In a landmark decision, he will now face prosecution for inciting Sviridov to commit suicide, which carries a lesser sentence than murder.
There was a wave of public support in the Samara region of Russia for Matrosov after he was linked to the killing of paedophile Sviridov, and the case was highlighted around the world.
Locals in the village of Pribrezhnoye raised money for his initial legal fees and a petition signed by 2,500 people demanded that he should be fully acquitted.
They supported him for “saving our children by ridding us of a child sex attacker”.
Prominent TV journalist and former Russian presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak told her followers: “All parents are standing up for the paedophile’s killer.”
Matrosov, a former rocket engine factory worker, always denied murder and is now “pleased” that he will not face a charge of deliberately killing Sviridov.
He is also no longer required to wear an electronic tag as he awaits trial this year.
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He will face prosecution for “inciting a person to suicide or attempted suicide by threats or abuse”, which carries a maximum six-year sentence, but often also leads to non-custodial punishments.
Sources close to the case said that detailed forensic evidence showed that Matrosov had not stabbed Sviridov in a forest where the dead man’s body was found later in a makeshift grave.
There are claims Sviridov was given an ultimatum to go to the police and confess to sexually abusing the girl or face the father's wrath.
A relative said Sviridov was seen badly beaten on the day he disappeared in September, more than a week before his body was found in the makeshift grave near Vintai village.
Two other children in the village are feared to have been abused by Sviridov.
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