Story By: Anastasia Smirnova, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
The prankster who faked a coronavirus attack in front of stunned commuters has seen his charge upgraded and he could now face up to seven years behind bars for premeditated hooliganism.
The incident took on the Moscow Metro in the western Russian capital Moscow between the Polezhaevskays and Ulitsa 1905 Goda stations, and the ringleader has been identified as Karomatullo Dzhaborov.
Smartphone footage filmed by accomplices show a masked Dzhaborov, 25, falling to the ground on a packed tube and pretending to have a ‘coronavirus attack’ in full view of stunned commuters.
As some passengers try to help him, suddenly one of Dzhaborov’s friends screams “coronavirus”.
Within seconds, the carriage quickly empties at the next stop.
According to local media, the police initially charged Dzhaborov and his friends with hooliganism for the stunt.
However, prosecutors have reportedly upgraded the charge and Dzhaborov could now face up to seven years in prison for the prank.
His lawyer Roman Shakhmantov said: “He is no longer accused of simply hooliganism, but now premeditated hooliganism.”
In Russia, hooliganism has been listed as a criminal offence, similar to disorderly conduct, and is used as a catch-all charge for prosecuting unapproved behaviour.
The charge is now determined to be ‘premeditated’ due to the alleged involvement of other people.
Netizen ‘Vadim Bykov’ said: “He is an idiot, and that’s a fact.”
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