A distraught father who attacked his best friend after discovering he had sexually abused his six-year-old daughter won’t be charged with murder.
Vyacheslav ‘Slava’ Matrosov, 34, was suspected of stabbing Oleg Sviridov to death in a Russian forest after making him dig his own grave last year.
It came after Matrosov found sickening footage on his friend’s phone appearing to show his daughter being forced by Sviridov to perform a sex act on him.
Matrosov originally faced a murder investigation, but sources close to the case say the charge has been dropped, in a landmark decision.
Instead he will now face prosecution for inciting Sviridov, 32, to take his own life, which carries a lesser sentence than murder.
There was a wave of public support in Samara region for Matrovov after he was linked to the killing of Sviridov, and the case gained attention around the world.
Locals in village Pribrezhnoye raised money for his initial legal fees and a petition demanding the defendant be fully acquitted was signed by 2,500 people.
They supported Matrosov for ‘saving our children by ridding us of a child sex attacker’.
Prominent TV journalist and former Russian presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak told her followers: ‘All parents are standing up for the paedophile’s killer.’
The explicit sex abuse footage found on Sviridov’s phone was filmed when the girl was six.
She was was heard pleading: ‘Oleg, that’s enough, I can’t take it anymore. I want to go home.’
Matrosov, a former rocket engine factory worker, always denied murder and is now ‘pleased’ that he will not face a charge of deliberately killing Sviridov.
He is also no longer required to wear an electronic tag as he awaits trial this year for ‘inciting a person to suicide or attempted suicide by threats or abuse’.
The charge carries a maximum six year sentence, but often also leads to non-custodial punishments.
A source close to the case said that detailed forensic evidence showed that Matrosov had not stabbed Sviridov in a forest, where the dead man’s body was found later in a makeshift grave.
There are claims Sviridov was given an ultimatum to go to the police and confess to sexually abusing the girl, or face the father’s wrath.
A relative said Sviridov was seen badly beaten on the day in September he disappeared, more than a week before his body was found near Vintai village.
Two other children in the village are feared to have been abused by Sviridov.
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