An official in the North Caucasus republic of Chechnya has apologized for using a taser on women detained under suspicion of fraud, Chechen media reported Monday.
Video showing Islam Kadyrov, the former mayor of Chechnya’s capital Grozny, using a stun gun against detainees to obtain evidence from them aired on the Grozny television channel late last month. Law enforcement authorities opened an investigation into the eight-hour video footage, which also showed him threatening detainees.
In an Instagram Live interview with the channel, Kadyrov said he had exceeded his authority in "trying to prevent the women from being sent to prison."
“I have no excuse, I'm 100% to blame. I am ready to suffer punishment for my mistakes, but I did it not with malicious intent, not for personal gain, but in order to help people who had become the victims of scams,” the state-run TASS news agency quoted Kadyrov as saying to the channel.
He added that when he said "I will kill you" to the detainees, he wasn’t threatening them, but using a common expression among Chechens, especially in families.
Kadyrov, 32, reported to be a relative of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, was mayor of Grozny from 2012-2015. He then worked as the head of Ramzan Kadyrov’s administration.
Following the scandal, Ramzan Kadyrov’s spokesman said that Islam Kadyrov used “unacceptable methods to achieve even some good goals” and that he had been suspended from his post.