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Court orders to reopen inquest into fatal punch murder case

August 14, 2012, 13:20 UTC+3

The court will hear the testimony of Sergei Leonov, a specialist at the 111th main state center for forensic examinations

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MOSCOW, August 14 (Itar-Tass) — Moscow's Zamoskvorechye court which is reviewing the case against athlete Rasul Mursayev, accused of causing a student's death, has ruled to reopen inquest and question an expert.

Judge Andrei Fedin explained that the court will hear the testimony of Sergei Leonov, a specialist at the 111th main state center for forensic examinations.

The hearing is to resume in an hour.

Leonov is on the list of the witnesses for the defense, but he had not turned up for the hearing. Mirzayev's lawyer asked the court to help hear out his testimony.

The expert is to clarify if there is causal relationship between Mirzayev's punch and Agafonov death, and also if Mirzayev had used his professional skills.

The parties will against present their arguments whereupon the court will announce the verdict.

Oksana Mikhalkina, a representative of the injured parties expressed the hope for "fair completion of the trial."

Meanwhile, security has been tightened at the Zamoskvorechye court ahead of the reading of the verdict.

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 blow struck 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. Mirzayev turned himself in to police the next day after the incident.

The defendant pleaded not guilty.

During the arguments of the parties prosecutor Yulia Zotova asked the court to soften the charges against Mirzayev. She said the medical expert examination had not found causal relationship between the athlete’s blow and Agafonov's death.

Also, she referred to the testimony of the witnesses for the prosecution and doctors of the hospital where Afgafonov had died. Witnesses said that after the blow, Agafonov said he was feeling OK and that despite the headache, he could move on his own and even declined to call an ambulance.

The prosecutors asked the court to punish Mirzayev by two-year restriction of freedom.

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