Court rules on jury trial for all soccer fan murder case defendants

MOSCOW, August 3 (Itar-Tass) — The Moscow City Court on Wednesday turned down the petition for separate proceedings against the five defendants in the Spartak fan murder case, who do not wish jury trial.

“The court arrived at the conclusion that separate proceedings with respect to Ismailov, Akayev, Utarbiyev, Arsibiyev and Ibragimov will not contribute to objectivity in reviewing the case,” it said in a resolution.

The petition for jury trial was earlier lodged by main defendant Aslan Cherkesov. He is the only defendant of the six persons in the prisoners’ dock whose charges under “murder” article envision a review by jurors.

The court proceeded to select jurors. At the previous session, the injured parties asked the court to provide for their security saying that they had been threatened.

“They phoned me to tell that they’ll send me to my husband in a wink, while at the session today, the defendants were making threatening gestures at us,” the widow of the killed Spartak fan stated.

She flatly denied the possibility of football-related or hate motives behind the incident. “There was not football or ethnic motives. The guys were just going out of the cafe, and the attackers came out for holdup – this is what I think. The ethnic motive is out of the question: aside from Yegor, they also shot at his friend, Gasparyan by surname,” Yegor Sviridov’s widow said.

Also on Wednesday, the key suspect, Aslan Cherkesov, said the injured parties had thrown “unsubstantiated accusations,” alleging threats from him.

“The injured parties accuse up without proof in the mass media, and I want them to be held responsible for slander,” Cherkesov said demanding a check into the fact. But the judge replied that the court is not authorized to run checks as it is not a criminal persecution body.

There are six persons in the prisoners’ dock. The main defendant, Aslan Cherkesov, 27, is a native of Nalchik. He is accused of hooliganism and murder, attempted murder, malicious light degree battery and robbery.

The other defendants are natives of Dagestan: Akai Akayev, 20, Artur Arsibiyev, 20, Nariman Ismailov, 20, Khasan Ibragimov, 19 and Ramazan Utarbiyev, 21. They are accused of hooliganism and malicious light degree battery.

The investigators said the defendants, in a state of alcoholic intoxication on December 6, 2010, at a bus stop walked up to a group of Muscovites, who were waiting for a taxi. “Using a small pretext and a phrase by one of the Muscovites, they attacked the young people and beat them up,” an official at the Prosecutor General’ls Office said earlier.

Cherkesov who had a Streamer-2014 non-lethal pistol shot twice at two persons, “inflicting light harm on them.” Then he fired at least two shots at Sviridov, killing him. Cherkasov then shot six times at another Muscovites. Having stolen a bag, the attackers fled the scene.

The tragic incident led to disturbances on Manezhnaya Square in central Moscow. The football fans who gathered on the square on December 11, together with nationalists, held an unsanctioned rally which escalated to clashes with police. The youths resented the actions by police who initially detained the six suspected attackers but later released five of them on a written pledge not to leave the city.


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