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Preliminary US court hearings into case of Russian NHL star to start Monday

December 15, 2014, 8:55 UTC+3 LOS ANGELES

Russian ice hockey star Slava Voynov (NHL’s Los Angeles Kings) is suspected of domestic violence in regard to his wife Marta Varlamova

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Vyacheslav Voynov

Vyacheslav Voynov

© AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File

LOS ANGELES, December 15. /TASS/. Preliminary hearings to start on Monday at a court California’s Torrance against Slava Voynov, a Russian ice hockey star from NHL’s Los Angeles Kings suspected of domestic violence in regard to his wife Marta Varlamova.

Yevgeny Uspensky, a vice consul of the Russian Consulate General in San Francisco told TASS that “according to the defense it will be a very important court session, which will define the lines of prosecution and defense.”

“Both sides will invite witnesses and question them,” Uspensky said adding that Voynov’s wife Varlamova actively protects her husband and insists that he is innocent.

“Varlamova’s stance is very clear as she rejects the injured party and intends to stand for her rights,” the Russian diplomat said.

The 24-year-old defenseman of Los Angeles Kings was arrested in California on October 20 on suspicion of domestic violence. He was released from custody after posting $50,000 bail. However, he was suspended by the National Hockey League only hours after the news about his arrest broke out.

Voynov already missed some 20 games since his arrest but last month was reported training alone on the club’s home ice. Under the suspension he is banned from all activities of his club, which is the defending Stanley Cup champion.

Voynov was a member of the Russian national team playing at this year’s Winter Olympic Games in Sochi and was one of the key contributors for his NHL’s Los Angeles Kings club prestigious Stanley Cup trophies in 2012 and 2014. Following the 2012-2013 season Voynov signed with Los Angeles Kings signed a six-year contract worth $25 million.

Similar to Voynov’s incident took place last year with another Russia’s NHL player Semyon Varlamov, who is the key goalie of the Russian national ice hockey team and of Colorado Avalanche.

In late October of 2013 Varlamov was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence and was charged with third-degree assault and second-degree kidnapping. The charges against the Russian goalie were dropped over the following two months as prosecutors cited the lack of evidence in his case.

However, unlike Voynov, Varlamov was not suspended by the NHL and continued playing throughout two months of court hearings into his case.

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