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Court rules to arrest suspect accused of killing member of team that developed Sputnik V

Defendant pleaded guilty

MOSCOW, March 3. /TASS/. The man suspected of murdering Andrey Botikov, a senior researcher at the Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology, has pleaded guilty and was placed in custody, the Moscow City’s Khoroshevo District Court told TASS on Friday.

"The Moscow City’s Khoroshevo District Court has ruled to put Alexey Vladimirovich Zmanovsky in custody until May 2 while pending trial on charges of killing Andrey Botikov, a researcher at the Gamaleya center. According to the investigation, the victim was one of the developers of the Sputnik V vaccine. The defendant has pleaded guilty before the court in session," the court said.

According to investigators, a 29-year-old young man strangled the 47-year-old Botikov with a belt during an argument in an apartment of a building on Rogova Street in Moscow on March 2 and fled. He was detained soon thereafter. The defendant has a previous record of serious crimes. Zimanovsky has been charged with an offence provided for by Part 1 of Article 105 of the Russian Criminal Code ("Murder") and is facing up to 15 years in prison.

Law enforcement agencies said earlier that the murder was a domestic crime and the result of a conflict.