Life Sentence Sought in Markelov’s Death

Prosecutors asked a court on Thursday to jail for life an ultranationalist convicted of murdering a human rights lawyer and a journalist, and to hand a 20-year sentence to his girlfriend and convicted accomplice, Interfax reported.

A jury ruled last week that Nikita Tikhonov shot dead lawyer Stanislav Markelov and Novaya Gazeta reporter Anastasia Baburova in downtown Moscow in 2009. His girlfriend, Yevgenia Khasis, was convicted of assisting in the killings.

Both suspects pleaded not guilty and called the process rigged. In protest, they cut their wrists ahead of the jury verdict, though doctors said they had avoided cutting their veins.

The judge is to announce the sentences Friday.

Meanwhile, Baburova’s parents, who have sued Tikhonov for 5 million rubles ($183,000), said they would use the proceeds to establish a charity fund to support journalism students at their daughter’s alma mater, Moscow State University, Interfax reported. The ruling on their lawsuit is also expected Friday.

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