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MOSCOW, August 8 (Itar-Tass) — The lawyer of athlete Rasul Mirzayev who is accused of delivering a fatal punch to student Ivan Agafonov, began to present his evidence at the trial. Lawyer Alexei Grebensky told the court that injured party Agafonov had gone in for Thai boxing before and showed the court a photo as proof. Also, he showed another photo in which there was a group of persons, including Agafonov and Mirzayev. The picture was taken at the Leon sport club, the lawyer said.
It is possible that Mirzayev and Agafonov were acquainted before the incident, Grebensky said.
Mirzayev, 26, a sambo Russian and world champion, is accused of "malicious infliction of grave harm to health which resulted in the victim's death by negligence." If convicted, he might face up to 15 years in prison. The investigator said the punch Mirzayev had thrown at Agafonov caused the latter’s death in a conflict near a nightclub.
The fatal incident occurred in Brodnikov Pereulok in central Moscow on August 15, 2011. Student Ivan Agafonov was rushed to hospital after a punch delivered by Mirzayev near the Garage nightclub and died several days later without regaining consciousness.
"Mirzayev, using professional skills and sport training, deliberately delivered one pointed blow with his left hand in Agafonov's face," according to the case materials.
Several expert examinations were carried out within the case, which showed that the death had been caused by a fall onto asphalt after a powerful blow. The media broadly covered the nightclub incident causing a public stir. Mirzayev turned himself in to police the next day after the incident.
The defendant pleaded not guilty.