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Komi Cop in YouTube Appeal Detained

A former Komi police major who accused his ex-colleagues of fabricating a case against two convicts in a 2005 fire that killed 25 people was detained in Moscow on Friday, police said.

Mikhail Yevseyev, who was placed on a federal wanted list last week, was arrested in southern Moscow and sent to the Komi republic to face charges connected to his service in Chechnya in 2004, Interfax said.

Yevseyev is charged with assault and abuse of office in Chechnya. He is also accused of disclosing classified information, but details of that charge have not been made public, Interfax reported.

In November, Yevseyev released a video addressed to President Dmitry Medvedev in which he claimed that Komi law enforcement officials were falsifying criminal cases against innocent people, including businessmen.

Yevseyev, who quit his job in 2008, cited the arson incident in the Passazh shopping mall in the local town of Ukhta as an example of "the police's lawlessness."

Two men were handed life sentences in July by the Komi Supreme Court over the 2005 fire, and two other suspects, accused of ordering the arson, are currently awaiting trial.

The Komi branch of the Investigative Committee said Thursday that one more suspected arsonist, Valentin Gadzhiyev, turned himself in to police. It did not elaborate on his possible involvement.

Yevseyev's video appeal followed the example of former Novorossiisk police officer Alexei Dymovsky, who complained about corrupt superiors to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in November.

But the only case that has been opened in Komi after Yevseyev's appeal was into Yevseyev himself.

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