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Court to announce verdict for sambo champion Rasul Mirzayev, accused of causing student's death

November 27, 2012, 10:31 UTC+3

Prosecutor asked the court to sentence Mirzayev to two years of restriction of freedom

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MOSCOW, November 27 (Itar-Tass) — Moscow's Zamoskvorechye court on Tuesday will hand down a verdict for sambo champion Rasul Mirzayev, accused of causing a student's death.

Mirzayev was accused of "malicious infliction of grave harm to health which resulted in the injured party's death." This penal code article carries a penalty of up to 15 years in prison. However, during the arguments of the parties, the prosecutor asked the court to soften the charges to "causing death by negligence," which is punished by a shorter jail term of a two-year restriction of freedom.

The prosecutor for the state, Andrei Sergeyev, said "Mirzayev did not wish Ivan Agafonov's death; his actions are explained by carelessness and irresponsibility." He also noted that Mirzayev had no intention to kill Agafonov, and that he "took the interaction with him as personal offense."

Sergeyev asked the court to sentence Mirzayev to two years of restriction of freedom. The court should count in the term Mirzayev had spent in the remand prison, with each day counting for two. If the court agrees with the prosecutor's position, Mirzayev will be set free on Tuesday, as he had been in the remand prison for more than a year.

Restriction of freedom implies restrictions on movement, and place of work and study. The control is effected by local penal inspectors. This penalty is stricter compared with suspended sentence, where the convicted person can ask for parole after the expiration of half of the sentence /provided he or she has proven their reformation/. Also, the conviction cannot be overturned. In his final statement at the trial, Mirzayev said he was ready to help Agafonov's parents and again asked their forgiveness. "It was a tragic case. I've been distressed all the time; I'm ready to help them and do everything. I did not strike him hard; but strike I did, and I've been thinking for a year and three months, every day, why I did it, why I struck."

Agafonov's father tried to insult the defendant and cut short his speech. The student's parents said they would not forgive Mirzayev and that did not want anything from him.

"The trial was one-sided; the case should be reinvestigated and the key witnesses should be questioned; why aren't you doing it? Who'll trust Russia henceforth to have fair trials?" Agafonov's father said.

"Your honor, I ask you to try me not as a Caucasian, but as a Russian citizen, who was born and grew up in Russia, who studied in Russia and always competed for Russia, never for the Caucasus," Mirzayev said in his final statement.

Oksana Mikhalkina, the lawyer of the injured parties said it was likely the verdict would be appealed. She expressed apprehensions that the charges might be softened and that it might cause an upsurge of similar crimes in Moscow and elsewhere in Russia.

Five expert examinations wren carried out within the case. They did not ascertain the guilt of the medics in Agafonov's death.

Judge Andrei Fedin said the expert examination had not ascertained any relationship between Mirzayev's punch and Agafonov's death either.

As a result of the Mirzayev's blow, Agafonov had bruised soft tissues, i.e. an injury that did not cause harm to health, the judge said.

On August 15, 2011, Mirzayev and Agafonov had a row near the Garazh nightclub at around 04:00. Mirzayev, "using professional skills and sport training, deliberately delivered one pointed strike with his left hand in Agafonov's face," the case materials said. The student fell and hit his head of the asphalt. In hospital, he slipped into a coma and died three days later. The defendant pleaded not guilty.


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