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Spartak fan murder trial to be held behind closed doors

October 13, 2011, 3:28 UTC+3
The decision was made by the presiding judge after the injured parties complained they had been threatened
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MOSCOW, October 13 (Itar-Tass) — The Moscow City Court will hold, behind closed doors, the trial over the murder of Spartak fan Yuri Volkov in central Moscow in the summer of 2010. The decision was made by the presiding judge after the injured parties complained they had been threatened.

In the beginning of the Wednesday hearing, injured party Domnikov, who had participated on the fight on the side of Volkov, who was killed, said defendants Ibragimov and Aidayev had threatened him in the course of the investigation.

"And then there were telephone threats," he said, "so I would like the inquest to be held in camera." Domnikov also said he was scared by numerous relatives and friends of the defendants who had gathered near the building of the court during preliminary hearings.

"This support group - who are they? They are fixing us with their eyes. I fear for my life and the life of my relatives," Domnikov underlined. Second injured party Podoprigora backed his stance, saying "the defendants' support group is provoking" them.

The prosecutor supported the injured parties' petition and asked the court to have the trial behind closed doors, amidst categorical objections by the defense.

"It's simply absurd; nobody is threatening anyone," lawyer Abusupyan Gaitayev said.

"If the support group is fixing you with their eyes at the exit, what does holding the trial in camera have to do with it? They can fix you with their eyes in the street, too," Gaitayev said.

However, the judge ordered to clear the room of the third persons.

"The court rules to consider the criminal case in camera, in connection with the injured parties' s request to ensure their safety and the safety of their relatives," the judge said.

A jury will review the case.

Yuri Volkov, 22, was killed in a fight in central Moscow on July 10, 2010. The investigators said two groups of youngsters, numbering three and eight people, clashed in the Chistye Prudy area. The fight was motivated by "personal dislike," the police said.

Volkov was fatally stabbed and died in an ambulance. Another two persons were hospitalized.

Charges were brought against two Chechnya natives: Akhmedpasha Aidayev (who is accused of murder) and Bekkhan Ibragimov (accused of hooliganism and malicious infliction of harm to health). Both deny their guilt saying Spartak fans had dragged them into the fight and that they had had no knives.

The suspects were checked on polygraph. "I can tell that the results of the polygraph tests are not in the defendants' favor," a lawyer told Tass earlier.

At present, the Moscow City Court reviews a similar case over the murder of Spartak fan Yegor Sviridov on December 6, 2010. That crime caused a public outcry and resulted in mass disturbances in Moscow's Manezhnaya Square and other areas of the city.

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