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Supreme Court upholds verdict in lawyer's murder case

November 22, 2011, 16:05 UTC+3
Tikhonov's appeal has not been lodged yet
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MOSCOW, November 22 (Itar-Tass) — Russia's Supreme Court has upheld the verdict for Yevgeniya Khasis, convicted for 18 years for the murder of Stanislav Markelov and journalist Anastasia Baburova, a laywer said.

"The Supreme Court has not granted the supervisory appeal against the verdict for Yevgeniya Khasis," lawyer Alexander Vasilyev told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.

"The court thereby upheld the verdict and the appeals board's ruling on the case," Vasilyev said.

Tikhonov's appeal has not been lodged yet. "We haven't lodged it yet, but we'll certainly do so," according to the lawyer.

The defendants lawyers earlier said they would appeal with the European court of human rights.

In May 2011, the Moscow City Court sentenced Tikhonov to life and Khasis to 18 years in prison. The sentences were based on jurors' guilty verdict, who said the accused were guilty and that they did not deserve clemency.

The Moscow City Court agreed with the guilty verdict and did not insist on repeat review.

In their appeal, the lawyers of the convicted persons asked the Supreme Court to overturn the verdict as illegitimate and unjustified.

Judge Alexander Zamashnyuk partially met a civil action by Baburova's parents and ordered Tikhonov to pay 40,000 roubles as compensation for legal expenses. Also, Tikhonov will have to pay Larisa and Eduard Baburov two million roubles in moral damages. Baburova's parents intend to donate the money to the department of journalism at the Moscow State University to help low-income students.

Lawyer of Inter-Republican Bar Moscow Markelov and Novaya Gazeta string correspondent Baburova were shot to death on January 19, 2009. An unidentified gunman attacked Markelov, 34, and Baburova, 25 in Prechistenka Street near the Christ the Savior Cathedral in downtown Moscow. They were returning from a news conference. Baburova, a 5th-year student at the MGU department of journalism, died in hospital. She covered nationalism and neo-nazism.

Murder charges were brought against Tikhonov and Khasis.

Tikhonov and Khasis were arrested in November 2009. The suspects denied their guilt. Tikhonov initially admitted his involvement but later disavowed his statements saying he had been under pressure from the investigators.

According to the investigators, the motive behind the murder was "intolerance and ideological hate, as well as the hate the suspects felt toward the lawyer's professional activity to protect the rights and freedoms of persons who supported the anti-Nazi ideology."

Tikhonov used a 7.65mm Browning to commit the murder. He fired two shots at Markelov and one at Baburova. Markelov died on the spot, and Baburova was rushed to hospital, but her gunshot wound proved lethal.

A search in the house of Tikhonov and Khasis on November 3, 2009 found firearms, ammunition and explosive devices.

The Prosecutor General's Office said the murder had been committed together with unidentified members of an organized group who shared neo-Nazi and nationalist views.

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