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24 Sep, 2010 12:58

Doubt over report on high-profile car crash

A car-owners’ NGO has accused Moscow authorities of bias and tampering with evidence while investigating a deadly accident involving a senior executive of the LUKoil petroleum company.

At a media conference this week, experts from the Federation of Car Owners of Russia (FAR) disagreed with the official report. They believe that the police were deliberately taking sides when examining evidence, interpreting any doubt in favor of the LUKoil car’s driver.

They also believe that the CCTV footage published by police as circumstantial proof was not taken on the day of the accident, but rather two days earlier on a holiday, when the traffic was not so heavy.

The accident in question happened in February 2010 and drew much public attention. The Mercedes S500 owned by LUKoil collided head-on with a Citroen. The company’s vice-president Anatoly Barkov received injuries, while the two women in the other car died. Long before the investigation was concluded, many Russians sided with the victims, accusing the Mercedes driver of reckless driving.

However, the official investigation, which wrapped up in early September, put the blame for the collision on the Citroen driver, Olga Aleksandrova.

FAR leader Sergey Kanaev describes the police investigation as “outrageously unjust from the very beginning.”