Russian nationalist gets life for double murder


Russian ultra-nationalist Nikita Tikhonov was sentenced on Friday to life in prison for the 2009 murders of human rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov and reporter Anastasia Baburova. 


His girlfriend and coaccused, Yevgenia Khasis, was sentenced to 18 years in a penal colony for complicity in the murder.

Human rights groups have welcomed the sentences.

Lawyer Stanislav Markelov was killed in broad daylight in central Moscow as he and 25-year-old journalist Anastasia Baburova were on their way to a metro station after a news conference on 19 January 2009.

Tikhonov and Khasis have loose links to nationalist groups, and at the time of their arrest, Russia's security service said they were taking revenge on the lawyer for his role in defending victims of racism and those involved in events in Chechenya.

The reporter, Baburova, was wounded when she tried to stop the gunman and died later in hospital.

She worked for Russia's leading opposition newspaper, Novaya Gazeta, which has already lost several reporters, including the well-known journalist Anna Politkovskaya, who was gunned down in 2006.



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