Russian Soccer Players Accused Of Beating Official Sent To Pretrial Detention

Two Russian soccer players accused of beating a government official at a Moscow cafe have been sent to pretrial detention.

The Tver District Court in Moscow ruled on October 11 that Zenit St. Petersburg striker Aleksandr Kokorin and Krasnodar F.C. midfielder Pavel Mamayev to remain under arrest until December 8.

The two men are charged with battery and premeditated hooliganism in connection with an October 8 assault that has attracted widespread attention in Russia.

Kokorin’s younger brother, Kirill, was also arrested on the same charges.

The three men are accused of beating Denis Pak, an ethnic Korean official from the Russian Ministry for Industry and Trade, after he rebuked them for behaving improperly in a Moscow cafe.

Pak’s lawyer, Gennady Udunyan, has said the assailants also verbally attacked his client — using swear words of a racist character.

A video taken by a surveillance camera and broadcast by national television stations showed the official being hit over the head with a chair and slapped in the face.

The three men are also accused of beating Vitaly Solovchuk, the driver of television journalist Olga Ushakova, in a separate altercation near a Moscow hotel on the same day.

That attack was also caught on surveillance camera footage that has been broadcast on television in Russia.

The attacks have topped Russian television newscasts, prompting officials and lawmakers to call for the players to be punished.

The Russian Premier League strongly condemned what it called “hooliganism.”

Krasnodar F.C. said it may terminate Mamayev’s contract, while Zenit said it would take disciplinary measures against Kokorin.

The three men face up to seven years in prison if found guilty.

Based on reporting by Interfax and TASS