10 Sep 2011

Russian army officer jailed following dog food claim

6:14 am on 10 September 2011

A Russian army officer who claimed that soldiers in his garrison had been fed dog food has been court-martialled and jailed for four years for assaulting two soldiers.

Major Igor Matveyev said the case against him had been fabricated after he posted videos of what he said was dog food that had been re-labelled.

He said it had been substituted for food stolen from his soldiers.

His defence lawyer said she would appeal against the verdict of the military tribunal.

The major was sent to the reserves immediately after he posted the videos online in May.

The beating case, in which he was accused of assaulting two non-commissioned officers, was launched shortly afterwards.

Interfax news agency reports Matveyev was stripped of his rank and banned from working for the state for three years as part of his sentence.

Two days before the verdict was issued on Friday, Matveyev told the BBC's Russian Service that he was innocent but expected to be convicted.

He accused his military superiors of allowing theft and corruption to flourish in his garrison.

In court, the regional commander of interior troops denied that any soldiers had been fed dog food.