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MOSCOW, October 19 (Itar-Tass) — A panel of jurors at the Moscow City Court on Wednesday will have to answer 29 questions at the trial over the murder of Spartak football club fan Yegor Sviridov.
The main question is whether the murder was premeditated or not. Other questions composed by presiding judge Andrei Krasnovsky concern the fact of crime, its gravity, and proof of evidence. In case of a guilty verdict, the jury will say whether or not the defendants deserve clemency.
The court gave time to the parties to familiarize themselves with the questions.
There are six persons in the prisoners' dock. The main defendant, Aslan Cherkesov, 27, is a native of Nalchik. He is accused of hooliganism and murder, attempted murder, malicious light degree battery and robbery.
The other defendants are natives of Dagestan: Akai Akayev, 20, Artur Arsibiyev, 20, Nariman Ismailov, 20, Khasan Ibragimov, 19 and Ramazan Utarbiyev, 21. They are accused of hooliganism and malicious light degree battery.
The investigators said the defendants, in a state of alcoholic intoxication on December 6, 2010, at a bus stop walked up to a group of Muscovites, who were waiting for a taxi. "Using a small pretext and a phrase by one of the Muscovites, they attacked the young people and beat them up," an official at the Prosecutor General’s Office said earlier.
Cherkesov who had a Streamer-2014 non-lethal pistol shot twice at two persons, "inflicting light harm on them." Then he fired at least two shots at Sviridov, killing him. Cherkesov then shot six times at another Muscovites. Having stolen a bag, the attackers fled the scene.
The tragic incident led to disturbances on Manezhnaya Square in central Moscow. The football fans who gathered on the square on December 11, together with nationalists, held an unsanctioned rally which escalated to clashes with police. The youths resented the actions by police who initially detained the six suspected attackers but later released five of them on a written pledge not to leave the city.
Five defendants pleaded not guilty. Cherkesov's lawyer earlier stated that his client "does not deny using a weapon in self-defense."
Investigators said a day before murdering Sviridov, Cherkesov had used his weapon in another conflict in Kronshtadsky Boulevard.
At present, the Moscow City Court is hearing a case behind closed doors over the murder of Yuri Volkov, another Spartak fan. Volkov was murdered in central Moscow in July 2010. Two Chechnya natives are accused of the crime.
On Monday, the prosecutors said the defendants did not deserve clemency and insisted on a guilty verdict.
Prosecutor Maria Semenenko told the jurors "the guilt of the defendants is proven by the testimony of the injured parties and witnesses, and indirectly, by the line of defense the defendants have chosen."
The injured parties did not change their testimony while the defendants changed their version of the events, by "remembering" new details as they testified." Chief suspect Aslan Cherkesov lied when he was trying to show that he was acting in self-defense: he fired one of the shots at Sviridov's head as the latter was lying on the ground. "Clearly, it was not self-dense," she said.
Prosecutor Anton Shcherbakov drew the jurors' attention to the fat that the defendants did nothing either during the fight, or immediately after it, during the investigation or at the trial in order to deserve leniency.
Yegor Sviridov's widow Yana Falalayeva said she believed the defendants' guilt was proven and asked for a fair ruling.
Cherkesov stated he had repented the murder but continued to insist he had used it in self-defense.
Meanwhile, all the defendants' lawyers asked for a fair verdict. None of the lawyers asked for acquittal.