Ilya Zelendinov, the Russian doctor suspected of beating a patient to death, is now facing tougher charges, the RBC newspaper reported Tuesday, citing a statement by the Investigative Committee.
According to the statement, Zelendinov, who was fired after the incident, is now being charged with intentional infliction of grievous bodily harm resulting in death. He was previously facing charges of causing death through negligence. If found guilty, Zelendinov now faces up to 15 years in prison.
Yevgeny Vakhtin, a 57-year-old patient, died as a result of a brain injury from hitting his head against the floor after Zelendinov punched him in the face. The doctor hit the patient after he kicked a nurse during a procedure at a hospital in Belgorod on Dec. 29.
A video of the incident which was released on the Internet caused public outcry. Investigative Committee head Alexander Bastrykin is leading the investigation.
According to Sergei Krivorodko, the lawyer of the detained doctor, Zelendinov regrets the incident and has paid the funeral costs to the relatives of the deceased, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.