WARNING SOOTHING CONTENT: Vyacheslav Matrosov was suspected of stabbing Oleg Sviridov after causing him to dig a grave, but has not been charged with murder
An angry father who attacked his best friend when he found out he had sexually abused his young daughter has not been charged with murder.
Vyacheslav (Slava) Matrosov, 34, was suspected of killing Oleg Sviridov, 32, in a forest in Russia after forcing him to dig his own grave.
The incident came after Matrosov accidentally stumbled across graphic videos on Sviridov’s phone showing his six-year-old daughter being forced into sexual acts while she was pleading that she wanted to go home.
Matrosov originally faced a murder investigation, but has now been told it has been dropped, according to sources close to the case.
In a landmark decision, he is now being prosecuted for inciting Sviridov to commit suicide, which carries a lesser penalty than murder.
There was a wave of public support for Matrosov in the Samara region of Russia after he was linked to the murder of pedophile Sviridov, and the case was highlighted around the world.
Locals in the village of Pribrezhnoye raised money for his initial legal fees, and a petition signed by 2,500 people called for his full acquittal.
They supported him for “saving our children by ridding us of a child molester.”
Prominent TV journalist and former Russian presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak told her supporters: “All parents stand behind the pedophile’s killer.”
Matrosov, a former rocket engine factory worker, has always denied the murder and is now “delighted” that he will not be charged with premeditated killing of Sviridov.
He also no longer needs to wear an electronic tag as he awaits trial this year.
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He faces charges of “instigating or attempting suicide by threats or ill-treatment,” carrying a maximum sentence of six years, often without imprisonment.
Sources close to the case said detailed forensic evidence showed Matrosov did not stab Sviridov to death in a forest where the dead man’s body was later found in a makeshift grave.
There are claims that 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 he disappeared in September, more than a week before his body was found in the makeshift grave near the village of Vintai.
It is feared that two other children in the village of Sviridov were abused.