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Prosecutors soften charges in fatal punch case

January 12, 2012, 17:55 UTC+3

"The probe is finished; the injured parties are reading the case materials," Mikhailova said

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MOSCOW, January 12 (Itar-Tass) — Preliminary investigation into the criminal case against mixed fighting champion Rasul Mirzayev has been completed, and prosecutors have softened the charges against the suspect accused of fatally punching student Ivan Agafonov, lawyer Oksana Mikhailova who represents the interests of the injured party, told Itar-Tass.

"The probe is finished; the injured parties are reading the case materials," Mikhailova said.

According to the lawyer, the final charges against Mirzayev have been softened to "causing death by negligence." The maximum punishment carried by this Criminal Code article is two years in jail.

Earlier, the athlete was accused of "malicious infliction of grave harm to health, which resulted in the victim's death." He was facing up to 15 years in prison. An Investigative Committee official said "Mirzayev, as a master of sambo, a world and Moscow champion, given his professional skills, should have foreseen the grave consequences."

His actions are now classified as causing death by negligence, as a result of "criminal negligence."

The lawyer did not rule out the court's releasing Mirzayev on bail.

Ivan Agafonov, 19, had a row with Mirzayev near the Garazh /Garage/ nightclub in Brodnikov Lane in central Moscow on August 15, 2011, in which Mirzayev knocked him down with a powerful blow. The young man was hospitalized to city hospital # 1 where he fell into a coma and died in the morning of August 18.

Two expert examinations in the case showed that the death had been caused by falling on the asphalt after a strong punch. The investigator ordered another expert examination to answer the additional questions raised by a lawyer on the strengthen of the two previous expert examinations.

After the mass media reported Agafonov's death, Mirzayev turned himself in to police who detained him.

Initially, a court did not sanction his arrest, and ruled on a five-million-rouble bail, which the Fight Night producer center pledged to pay.

Prosecutors challenged the decision and the Moscow City Court overturned it the next day. Next, the district court sanctioned the arrest of the suspect.

Lawyer of Ivan Agafonov's parents Oksana Mikhalkina noted that Rasul Mirzayev "has not brought any apologies or taken actions to smooth over the situation up to date."

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