11 Mar 2019 19:30

Izhevsk resident institutionalized after blowing up building

IZHEVSK. March 11 (Interfax) - The Supreme Court of Udmurtia has ruled to sentence 28-year-old Alexander Kopytov, who had blown up a block of flats in Izhevsk in November 2017, killing seven people, to compulsory medical treatment on Monday, an Interfax correspondent reported from the courtroom.

"The court ruled to use against Kopytov Alexander Anatolyevich a compulsory measure of a medical nature in the form of compulsory treatment in a medical organization providing specialized inpatient psychiatric help under intensive supervision," Judge Sergei Kolegov said, reading the ruling.

Kopytov was exempted from criminal liability because he had committed the crime in a state of insanity, he said.

Kopytov will be held in the national clinical psychiatric hospital until the ruling enters into effect, he said.

The aggrieved party's civil suits were not heard due to the defendant's mental state.

The judge pointed out that Kopytov committed the act "based on personal animosity towards the residents of the aforementioned house in order to murder them by generally dangerous means and destroy other people's property."

According to the ruling, "Kopytov tried to pull out a knife while being detained, but didn't get a chance to use it."

In the afternoon of November 9, 2017, a corner section from the first to the ninth floor of a residential nine-story building in Izhevsk collapsed. As a result, seven people, including two children were killed, 11 people, including three minors, were injured and the property of 441 people was damaged.

According to the Russian Investigative Committee, Kopytov, who lived with his mother, organized the gas explosion. He was detained in a summer house in one of the villages near Izhevsk the next day and partially admitted his guilt. According to the state prosecution, the crime was motivated by personal enmity. The court sanctioned Kopytov's arrest and sent him to a psychiatric facility for the duration of the preliminary investigation because he had been diagnosed with mental illness.

The Russian Investigation Committee made a motion with the court to use compulsory measure of a medical nature against Kopytov, because he had committed the explosion due to his illness, not being aware of the danger posed by his actions.

The state prosecution and Kopytov's lawyer also supported his sentencing to compulsory treatment. According to the lawyer, he did not plan to kill his neighbors, turned the gas on "to silence the voices in his head" and left his apartment in order to fulfill "the voices' demands." At the same time, he believed that his neighbors would smell the gas and call for the gas emergency service, as it had happened before.

The criminal case totaled 59 tomes, 459 members of the aggrieved party and about 30 witnesses were questioned during the trial. Kopytov was absent from the hearing, because, according to evaluations, he was unaware of his surroundings.