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Supr Court to review verdict legality in Sviridov murder case

January 19, 2012, 5:52 UTC+3
In the view of the defence, the trial was held with considerable procedural violations
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MOSCOW, January 19 (Itar-Tass) — Russia’s Supreme Court on Thursday will consider the legality of the sentence for the murder of a fan of the Spartak football club, Yegor Sviridov. The relevant complaint was filed by the defence lawyers of the convicts.

The lawyers of the main defendant in the case Aslan Cherkesov said earlier that the defence asked to “overturn the sentence of the Moscow City Court and refer the case for a new trial with a different panel of judges.”

In the view of the defence, the trial was held with considerable procedural violations.

Aslan Cherkesov, who was found by jury guilty of Sviridov’s murder, was sentenced by the Moscow City Court to 20 years imprisonment in a tight security colony. The remaining five defendants in the case were sentenced to 5 years imprisonment in a minimum security penal colony. Making the judgement the court took into account the circumstances of the crime and concluded that the defendants can only be corrected in isolation from society.

The public prosecution demanded for Cherkesov 23 years imprisonment, and for the remaining defendants - 8 years imprisonment each.

Yegor Sviridov murder committed on December 6, 2011 has caused major public response - initially all the suspects, except Cherkesov, were released from custody. Five days later, this led to mass riots in Moscow, including in downtown Manezhanya (Manege) Square near the Kremlin.

On October 20 the jurors found Cherkesov guilty of premeditated murder of Sviridov and ruled he did not deserve clemency. The jurors said he was guilty under part 2 of article 213 of the Criminal Code (hooliganism committed by a group of persons after prior collusion), part 2 of article 105 (hooliganism-motivated murder), part 3 of article 30 and part two of article 105 (attempted murder) and part two of article 115 (premeditated infliction of light bodily harm with hooliganism motives), and part 1 of article 161 (armed robbery).

The prosecution had requested a 23-year prison term in a tight security prison.

On October 20 the jurors brought in a verdict of guilty for all the six men in the dock, charged with the murder of Sviridov. They also ruled that none of them deserved clemency.

As it is stated in the verdict, the defendants caused bodily harm to the victim, using a lame excuse. In addition, each of the defendants was fully aware of the actual nature of his actions and the degree of severity.

The defence’s argument that a number of defendants were not accomplices to the crime and caused the victim’s death by negligence, were unfounded, since the jury’s verdict established the guilt of the defendants, as well as the intentional nature of their actions.

In selecting the sentence for Cherkesov the court has taken into account as a mitigating circumstance he had a child under age. However, “given the circumstances of the offence committed, the court concludes that his correction is only possible in isolation from society.”

Yegor Sviridov’s murder committed on December 6, 2010, has evoked a major public response – as all the suspects, except Cherkesov were initially released from custody. Five days later, this fact led to riots in Moscow, including at Manezhnaya Square. Early in the day (Dec 11) almost 10000 people came to the Vodny Stadion (Moscow Metro) station and from there preceded to Kronshtadt Bulevar, where Yegor Sviridov was killed, to lay down flowers and light candles.

Around 15:00 the crowd started gathering at the Manezhnaya Square, including members of several nationalistic organizations, soon becoming over 5.5 thousand strong. Sources indicate that as many as 50,000 people could have gathered. As OMON forces tried to control the situation, some protesters tried to breach the cordon on their way to Biblioteka Imeni Lenina, resulting in fights between the parties. As OMON forces started dispersing the crowd, hostilities escalated, and both sides sustained casualties. A total of some 65 people were arrested and 29 hospitalised.

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