Verdicts in Russian courts for murders Markelov and Baburova | Den norske Helsingforskomité

Verdicts in Russian court for murders Markelov and Baburova

Verdicts in Russian court for murders Markelov and Baburova

The verdict in the case of murdering the Russian lawyer Stanislav Markelov and the journalist Anastasia Baburova is finalized. On May 6, 2011, after more than two years of investigation and lengthy court hearings, the persons, accused of their murder, were convicted.

The human rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov and the journalist Anastasia Baburova were shot dead at Prechistinka Street in Moscow on January 19, 2009 while they were walking in direction of the metro station ”Kropotkinskaya” after a press conference about preterm release of the convicted murderer colonel Yuri Budanov.

On May 6, 2011, after more than two years of investigation and lengthy court hearings, the persons, accused of their murder, were convicted. Nikita Tikhonov was sentenced to imprisonment for life, while Euginia Khasis got 18 years of prison. Both Tikhonov and Khasis belong to the nationalist organization “Russian image” (Русский Образ), Tikhonov was one of the founders of the organization. Tikhonov will also have to pay a compensation to the parents of the dead journalist of 2.4 mln rubles.The court noted that Tikhonov shot Markelov due to “his personal enmity and negative attitude toward anti-fascist-minded supporters”. Baburova was killed as she was a witness. The role of Khasis was to cooperate with Tikhonov. From November 2008 both accused, together with other “unidentified persons” organized surveillance of Markelov.

Bjørn Engesland, the Secretary General of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee welcomes the decision. - We are glad for the decision of the Moscow State Court. The case is finalized and our Russian colleagues seem to be satisfied with the verdict. I get such an impression from, among others, the head of the Human Rights Centre Memorial Oleg Orlov. - At the same time, continues Engesland, there are regretfully many other cases of murders of journalists (Anna Politkovskaya, Natalia Estemirova, Vladislav Listyev, etc) that remain unsolved.

Stanislav Markelov was a prominent human rights lawyer. Working closely with the investigative journalist and Kremlin critic Anna Politkovskaya, he was widely respected in Chechnya as a lawyer for the families of those abducted, tortured or killed during and after the Chechen Wars. Markelov was the lawyer and representative of the parents of Elza Kungaeva, who was killed by the colonel Yury Budanov, and the mother of and student Alexander Rukhin, killed by the nationalists. He was also defending Mikhail Beketov, an activist of Khimki Forest movement and a former editor of the newspaper “Khimkinskaya Pravda".