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MOSCOW, February 28 (Itar-Tass) - The Moscow region court on Thursday is expected to begin to review a criminal case against four men suspected of attacking Khimki forest defender Konstantin Fetisov.
Under the established procedure, the prosecutor will read the indictment and ask the defendants if they plead guilty or not guilty.
The previous hearing was postponed as three jurors did not appear for the trial. The presiding judge decided to give more time to the panel of jurors to gather, in order not to disband it.
On November 4, 2010, environmental journalist Konstantin Fetisov was beaten up after participation in a picket against a dump site in Khimki's Levoberezhny district. He was beaten with a baseball bat as he was returning from a police station where he had been brought after the picket.
Fetisov was rushed to an IT ward and remained in artificially induced coma for some time.
According to the investigators, Andrei Kashirin, a 30-year-old Muscovite, asked Vazgen Tsaturyan and Denis Rastokin to beat Fetisov for 30,000 roubles /about 1,000 U.S. dollars/. Head of Khimki administration department Andrei Chernyshev had promised Kashirin patronage in getting a municipal job and running a business.
Kashirin took part in tailing Fetisov and struck a trusting acquaintance with him. On September 18, 2010, he phoned the environmentalist and suggested a meeting under a pretext had had invented. At the meeting, Tsaturyan and Rastokin beat up the journalist.
In November 2010, Kashirin, acting on Chernyshov's instruction, found Maxim Kriventsov, and offered him to murder Fetisov for 1,000 dollars. Kashirin watched the environmentalist's house, drove the perpetrator there passed a baseball bat to him, telling him to hit the victim on the head. During the beating, Kashirin fled to Belarus to hide at the place of one of his accomplices.
"Both crimes were motivated by resentment at Fetisov's public activity, aimed at exposing violations by local self-rule officials and drawing the attention of law-enforcement and supervisory bodies to them," an Investigative Committee official said.
On November 30, 2012, the Moscow region court sentenced Kashinin to four years in prison, finding him guilty of attempted murder, instigation and abetting.