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Court upholds arrest of athlete in fatal punch case

August 31, 2011, 11:04 UTC+3

The Moscow City Court on Wednesday upheld the arrest of Rasul Mirzayev

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MOSCOW, August 31 (Itar-Tass) — The Moscow City Court on Wednesday upheld the arrest of Rasul Mirzayev, who delivered a fatal punch to 19-year-old student Ivan Agafonov.

The court thereby turned down the defense's petition to overturn the district court's resolution on selecting custody as the measure of restraint and send the case materials for new review.

On August 22, Moscow's Zamoskvorechye court released Mirzayev on a 5-million-rouble bail, but the Moscow City court overturned the ruling the next day, before the money was transferred to the court's deposit account and ordered the Zamoskvorechye court to reconsider the case.

As a result, it met the investigator's petition to sanction Mirzayev's arrest.

The court said it regarded the investigator's arguments as quite convincing.

Judge Yulia Novichkova said the athlete was not living at the place of registration in Dagestan and that he had a foreign travel passport.

"He might escape or put pressure on witnesses, or obstruct the investigation in some other way," Novichkova said.

The court also took into account the fact that having unarmed combat skills and clear advantage over the victim, he used his skills.

The incident occurred in Brodnikov Pereulok in central Moscow on August 13. Student Ivan Agafonov was rushed to hospital and died several days later without regaining consciousness. The investigators learned from media reports that Mirzayev was the attacker.

The all Russia Sambo Federation said Rasul Mirzayev had been disqualified.

"Athlete Rasul Mirzayev has been disqualified by decision of the all-Russia Sambo Federation and withdrawn from training for the world combat sambo championship in Vilnius on November 10-14," the Federation said.

Mirzayev's lawyers said the student had died not from the blow but because he hit his head on the asphalt as he fell. In that event, the charges should be changed from malicious infliction of grave harm to health resulting in negligent death (which envisions up to 15 years in prison) to causing negligent death which is punished by up to two years in jail.

Olga Agafonova, the student's mother, asked for state protection.

Mirzayev's lawyer earlier Igor Dergachyov denied the reports that his client has multi-million contracts. He said the defense was ready to pass to the investigator or the court Mirzayev's foreign travel passport which has no valid visas at present.

"If the investigators have information on multi-million contracts, we ask for evidence," the lawyer said.

According to the lawyer, Agafonov's height is 190 centimetres and weight - 95 kilograms. Mirzayev is 170-65. "There is a great difference between then, and Mirzayev never used any special skills. Any specialist can tell that if he had wished to cause harm, he would have struck with his right hand, and if he had had the intention to knock him out, he would have hit on the jaw," Dergachyov said.

In his opinion, it was Agafonov who provoked the conflict and started the fight.

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