Defendants stab selves in Russian court

Nov. 10, 2010 at 5:25 PM

SAMARA, Russia, Nov. 10 (UPI) -- Eight defendants in a Russian prison riot cut their veins open in court, a prosecutor's aide said.

"On Tuesday, the regional was hearing the parties' arguments. During one of such statements, a riot organizer used a razor to cut his wrists; another seven defendants followed suit," a senior aide to Samara regional prosecutor Ulyana Kudinova told Itar-Tass.

"Medical assistance was immediately provided to the injured persons," she said, and "nobody has been hospitalized."

The hearing was postponed, and authorities are investigating how the men smuggled forbidden objects into the courtroom.

What began as a fight between two groups of inmates in the maximum security Samara penitentiary on Sept. 23, 2008, escalated to mass violence. Inmates burned and destroyed eight guard stations. Four watchtowers and a building also were burnt.

More than 30 people were injured in the riot, including three guards, and one inmate died later.

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