ST PETERSBURG, January 18 (Itar-Tass) — A Petersburg court on Wednesday is expected to hand down a verdict in a high-profile criminal case over the murder of Investigative Committee /SK/ employee Dmitry Marininov, who was shot and killed in this city in January 2009.
"The probe caused a public stir from the beginning. As the mass media reported the murder, SK chief Alexander Bastrykin cut short his visit to Finland. He said the assassination of Marininov, an agent of the SK's internal security department, was linked with ongoing SK probes in Russia's second largest city.
In November 20111, prosecutors demanded life imprisonment for key suspect Sergei Kirilchuk, accused of masterminding two murders and setting up a drug trafficking group, and long prison terms - from 14 to 25 years for three other suspects: Sergei Strelnikov, Sergei Ivanov and Igor Zalevsky. They were accused of murder, drug sales and keeping of firearms.
The investigation into the high-profile case only partially confirmed a link between Marininov's murders with his professional activity.
According to the investigators, Marininov, before his appointment to the SK, was a non-staff employee at an internal security department in police. He had been gathering evidence of the illegal activity by Kirilchuk's group, which sold heroin. Kirilchuk, upon learning it, promised his acquaintances Strelnikova and Ivanov 15,000 dollars for the murder of Marininov.
At around 12:00, Moscow time, on January 15, 2009, when Marininov was repairing a wheel of his car, punctured by wrongdoers, Strelnikov shot him in the back of the head. Strelnikov fired a pistol with a silencer, whereupon he escaped with his accomplice. Marininov died on the spot.
The investigator said Kirilchuk had given the killers 600 grams of heroin for the murder instead of the promised money.