MOSCOW, August 7 (Itar-Tass) — A panel of jurors has passed a guilty verdict for two defendants in the case over the murder of Magadan region governor Valentin Tsvetkov. The jurors said the evidence against Vladimir Golban and Sergei Filippenko was sufficient for convicting them, an Investigative Committee /SK/ official told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.
"The investigators and the court ascertained that in August 2002, Golban, having taken the order to murder Magadan governor Tsvetkov for a remuneration of 100,000 U.S. dollars, set up an organized criminal group, which Filippenko and other persons joined for remuneration," the SK said.
Golban and other gang members were organizers, while Filippenko had to rent apartments and houses in Moscow and the Moscow regions, where the gang members were hiding.
Filippenko's task was to learn the governor's address and daily routine and tail him in Moscow.
On October 18, 2002, Tsvetkov and deputy head of the Magadan region's office in Moscow Pyotr Shapka drove their service car into a parking lot in Novy Arbat Street in central Moscow, got out and proceeded toward the entrance of the Magadan regional government office.
At that time, the killer who had been waiting for Tsvetkov, shot him in the head. The governor died on the spot. The killer then shot at Shapka, but missed. Having discarded the pistol, the murderer fled the crime scene in a car driven by his accomplice.
Sergei Filippenko was detained in the town of Nakhodka, Primorsky Territory, on February 15, 2011. In October 2007, Filippenko fled the investigators and police put him on the international wanted list," spokesman for the Investigation Committee Vladimir Markin earlier told Itar-Tass.
The assassination mastermind, Martin Babakekhyan was given 19 years. Another perpetrator, Arthur Anisimov, is serving a 19-year sentence. Alexander Zakharov, who had tailed Tsvetkov and coordinated the attackers, was sentenced to 17 years. Babakekhyan's cousin Babakekhian's, Masis Akhunts, who drove one of the accomplices away from the scene of the attack, was sentenced to 13.5 years in prison.
After the murder, Babakekhyan and Zakharov were hiding in Spain for a long time, but were extradited to Russia. A majority of the criminal group's members fled the law-enforcement authorities but were later found murdered, including the direct perpetrators.