“Thank you, bros!”: Vagon’s lawyer tells about client’s last hours

“Thank you, bros!”: Vagon’s lawyer tells about client’s last hours
Vladimir Vagin

Alexander Karavaev stressed that he does not believe in the version of Vagin's suicide.

The lawyer of thief in law Vladimir Vagin (Vagon), Alexander Karavaev, stated that the version of his client's suicide, who was found hanged on September 21 in the IK-11 solitary cell of the Perm Territory, “has no rationale”. According to Karavaev, Vagin “was optimistic about life” and mapped out plans for the future. The lawyer rejected the version that his client could commit suicide because of any threats or actions by the colony administration.

The lawyer believes that the circumstances of Vagin’s death look suspicious: he hanged himself in a part of the cell where is no surveillance cameras. At the same time, the rest of the time the mob was under the complete control: they are set in law offices, on clothes of escorts, in the corridors of the colony, and so on. The investigation did not provide the video records.

Vladimir Vagin served his sentence for the attempted murder of a kickboxer athlete in a household conflict with Caucasians in March 2009. The victim was an employee of the Interior Ministry. Until 2014, the mob was hiding in the United Arab Emirates but was detained at the airport while trying to fly to Thailand and extradited to Russia. A court in Nizhny Novgorod in 2015 sentenced him to one year and nine months in a penal colony, but the sentence was later appealed by the prosecution, resulting in Vagin being sentenced to 7.5 years of the strict regime. At the time of the alleged suicide, he had served more than half the time.

Karavaev noted that his client was transferred several times from prison to prison. Before being transferred to IK-11 of the Perm Territory, law enforcement officers came to Vagin and reminded him that the thief in law, Maxim Novikov (Pioner), had already died in this colony. According to the lawyer, these were “very transparent hints that cannot be ignored.” “The only conclusion that can be made is that the intelligence officers are the main masterminds in his death,” said Karavaev.

According to human rights activists, IK-11 in the village of Nyrob, Cherdynsky district of the Perm region, was conceived as a transit prison, where thieves in law faced torture before being sent to other colonies.

According to Karavaev, if Vagon had been under such strong pressure, he would have committed suicide differently: for example, slash wrists. “But no hanging in the dead zone,” the lawyer emphasized.

Karavaev also added that other prisoners could not give objective testimony until they were transferred from IK-11, because there they could face pressure. In addition, in the days when Vagin was in the colony, riot police were there, the lawyer said.

According to the lawyer, on the day of his death, Vagin met with the Perm lawyer. After that, he was taken to a cell, where he spent about four hours. He left the cell twice: for slippers and for medications. His last words, according to Karavaev, were “Thank you, bros!” replying to the prisoners who asked to call them for help if he collapsed.

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