Notorious neo-Nazi boss nicknamed ‘Machete’ was ‘tortured to death in jail cell’

A notorious Russian neo-Nazi leader was tortured and murdered in a blood-splattered jail cell with CCTV cameras not working, according to his family.

The authorities say sinister hooligan Maxim Martsinkevich – nicknamed Tesak, meaning Machete – committed suicide by “asphyxia”.

But his father and lawyer claim to have discovered macabre new evidence showing the 36-year-old homophobic ultranationalist was killed.

They say his toenails were ripped off and the cell was covered in blood.

His body was discovered last week on a lower bunk bed in his cell in a detention centre in the Urals region of western Russia.

The upper bunk was daubed in blood with the inscription: "Tesak died here.”

His father Sergey said: “I examined the body. It really was murder.

“There were traces of torture, two toenails torn off, there was an injection.”

His son’s arms had been twisted before death, he claimed.

He added: “Do not believe this was suicide.”

Lawyer Ivan Sidorov said: “The whole cell is covered in traces of blood.”

Yet one of several “suicide notes” said he couldn’t walk at the time of his death, while all were dated October 2020.

The lawyer added: “So Maxim got up and wandered around? Suicides don't do that.

“They usually hide quietly under the sheet. There are a lot of strange and incomprehensible aspects.”

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A handwriting expert has said one of the notes is in a woman’s writing, while the time of death on the official certificate does not match the original statement by the authorities.

There are also said to be inconsistencies which show the neo-Nazi was listed as ‘refusing breakfast’ at a point when he was dead by the jail’s own records.

Prison CCTV cameras in his cell were not working the night he died even though as a "criminal leader” and “escape risk” he was supposed to be monitored every 30 minutes, the lawyer said.

He claimed the prison chief was “very embarrassed” that gruesome pictures of the corpse show the neo-Nazi leader wearing ear plugs – with no explanation given.

His family is demanding an independent investigation.

Martsinkevich, who ran far-right youth groups and posed with swastikas, was in transit to Moscow for a court hearing at the time of his death.

He had previously said: “If suddenly I slash my veins or hang myself while in transit, know that I was helped. Strongly.”

The Russian Investigative Committee has denied he was murdered.

Spokeswoman Svetlana Petrenko said: “One can say with confidence that Martsinkevich left suicide notes and committed suicide.

“He had a very serious motive to kill himself.”

He had expected parole in several years but new charges meant he would have stayed in prison much longer, she said.

Martsinkevich was jailed for ten years for “banditry and hooliganism” after a vigilante campaign attacking alleged drugs suppliers with electric shockers, pepper spray and metal bats.

He had been leader of extremist organisation Format 18 and founded homophobic group Occupy Paedophilia.

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