Deceased student’s sister not to testify if suspect is at large

MOSCOW, August 24 (Itar-Tass) — The sister of deceased student Ivan Agafonov said she and the victim’s friends would refuse to testify in court if athlete Rasul Mirzayev remained at large.

“We have a statement from Agafonov’s sister saying she fears for herself and her relatives and is afraid of giving testimony in case Mirzayev is at large,” a prosecutor said.

According to Agafonov’s relatives, neighbors told her “a car with Caucasian natives drove up to her house on August 19, when they were not at home. The Caucasians had not been seen in the area before.”

Mirzayev’ lawyer Igor Dergachyov was indignant. “If somebody sees Caucasian natives someplace, what of it? I’m asking to keep away from the ethnic issue. What do the Caucasians have to do with it? A tragedy has happened. Mirzayev has apologized and repented. On the contrary, this statement (by Agafonov’s sister) indicates that the injured party is still aggressive, and refuses to begin a dialogue,” Dergachyov said.

The court attached the statement by Agafonov’s sister to the case materials.

The judge, in the course of the hearing, named everybody who had intervened for Mirzayev. The petition asking not to send the athlete into custody were signed by Dagestan’s permanent representative under the Russian president Gadzhi Makhachev, deputy chairman of the State Duma committee for public organizations Adam Amiraliyev and lawmakers Khizri Shikhsaidov and Gadzhimet Safaraliyev (all from the ruling United Russia Party). Senior officials from the Fight Night association sent a similar request to the court.

The judge also reminded that 18 deputies of Dagestan’s People’s Assembly had asked the court to release Mirzayev under their personal guarantees.

Earlier, this week, Moscow’s Zamoskvortsky court released Mirzayev on bail, but the Moscow City Court later overturned this ruling. The bail money was transferred to the court’s deposit before the bail ruling was overturned.

The defense showed the court a copy of the payment order stating that Polina Klirosova (representative of the Fight Night association/ placed 5 milion rubles on the deposit account of the Zamoskvoretsky court.

The incident occurred in Brodnikov Pereulok in central Moscow on August 13. Student Ivan Agafonov was rushed to hospital and died several days later without regaining consciousness. The investigators learned from media reports that Mirzayev was the attacker.

Mirzayev’s lawyers said the student had died not from the blow but because he hit his head on the asphalt as he fell. In that event, the charges should be changed from malicious infliction of grave harm to health resulting in negligent death (which envisions up to 15 years in prison) to causing negligent death which is punished by up to two years in jail.

On Wednesday, Olga Agafonova, the student’s mother, asked for state protection.

The document signed by Agafonova and her lawyer Igor Trunov noted that the family of the student was afraid of Mirzayev’s friends and relatives, and asked to put him in custody.

“Many of his relatives and friends were present at the August 22 hearing. He is from Dagestan, which has the vendetta tradition (at that point, Mirzayev’s friends voiced their bewilderment – eds Itar-Tass), so the victim’s lawyer has reasons to ask for state protection,” Agafonova’s statement said.

She added that she did not believe in Mirzayev’s repentance. In her opinion, he used excessive force as he hit her son.

The defendant was indignant at her words. “He (Agafonov) is about two meters high and weighs about 100 kilograms. Did I have to wait for until he hit me? They’re making a maniac of me, and a child out of him,” Mirzayev said.

Mirzayev’s defense again asked for bail at the Wednesday hearing.

“We ask to select bail as the measure of restraint. If the bail sum is higher, we’ll consider it,” lawyer Igor Dergachyov told judge Yulia Novichkova.

He insisted that his client has no intention to escape the investigators or put pressure on the family of the deceased student and other witnesses.

Investigator Yevgeniya Shaferova stated that Mirzayev has multi-million contracts, including with foreign companies, and that he might leave Russia.

Dergachyov denied the reports on multi-million contracts. He said the defense was ready to pass to the investigator or the court Mirzayev’s foreign travel passport which has no valid visas at present.

“If the investigators have information on multi-million contracts, we ask for evidence,” Dergachyov said.

According to the lawyer, Agafonov’s height is 190 centimeters and weight – 95 kilograms. Mirzayev is 170-65. “There is a great difference between then, and Mirzayev never used any special skills. Any specialist can tell that if he had wished to cause harm, he would have struck with his right hand, and if he had had the intention to knock him out, he would have hit on the jaw.

In his opinion, it was Agafonov who provoked the conflict and started the fight.






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