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Court returns case of Russian nationalist to Prosecutor’s Office

December 26, 2013, 23:32 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The court left the ruling on keeping Konstantinov in pretrial custody unchanged
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© ITAR-TASS/Denis Vishinskiy

MOSCOW, December 26, 23:29 /ITAR-TASS/. Moscow City’s Chertanovo district court on Thursday returned the case of nationalist Daniil Konstantinov, who is charged with an ethnically motivated murder, back to the Prosecutor’s Office in connection with numerous inconsistencies in the materials.

“An indictment should contain a substantial mass of evidence confirming the defendant’s guilt but in this case it doesn’t meet these requirements,” Justice Galina Tyurkina said. “The inconsistencies are considerable and they cannot be eliminated in the course of judicial enquiry.”

“The court is returning the case to the prosecutor for rectifying the deficiencies,” she said.

Specifically, the court pointed out serious contradictions in the account of the main witness, a certain Safronov, which he gave in the course of preliminary investigation and in the courtroom regarding the spot and timing of the crime, Justice Tyurkina said.

The court left the ruling on keeping Konstantinov in pretrial custody unchanged. He is supposed to stay there through to March 3.

Valery Shkred, the lawyer defending Konstantinov said the defense was going to appeal the court’s decision on the pretrial measure.

“In the aftermath of today’s court session, the case will be reinvestigated,” Valery Shkred said.

Prosecutors claim that Daniil Konstantinov, a nationalistically minded individual, had a brawl with a 24-year-old Alexei Temnikov near the exit from Ulitsa Akademika Yangelya metro station in southern Moscow December 3, 2011. Following a heated exchange of words Konstantinov allegedly stabbed his opponent with a knife, as a result of which the latter man died.

The defendant does not recognize any guilt on his part, saying he has an alibi - he says he was partying with his mother and family friends on the night of the crime in a restaurant on Prospekt Mira Avenue in a totally different part of the city.

Daniil is the son of the famous non-Communist opposition politician Ilya Konstantinov, who was a notable personality on the political scene in the mid-1990’s. He is the founder of a nationalistic organization titled the League for the Defense of Moscow City and a member of the Russian off-parliamentary opposition’s Coordination Council where he represents the nationalists.

In 2007 and 2008, Konstantinov Jr. was a member of A Just Russia party.

The League for the Defense of Moscow calls for rebuffing what its adepts claim to be the ‘Islamization’ of the Russian capital. Specifically, they oppose the construction of new mosques.

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