Aleksandr Verkhovsky: The Trial in the Case of the Murder of Markelov and Baburova will be Long and Accompanied by Scandal

Source: (info), 25/02/11

· The Courts · Human Rights Defenders · Racism and Xenophobia

Aleksandr Verkhovsky, director of the Sova Centre, predicts that the trial in the case of the murder of lawyer Stanislav Markelov and journalist Anastasia Baburova will be long and accompanied by scandal, since it has had a major impact among ultra-right groupings.

In a purely technical sense, the murder trial should be heard quickly, but this trial will take a long time, Aleksandr Verkhovsky supposes, because the evidence of the associates of Nikita Tikhonov and Evgeniya Khasis will be heard. He points out that the case has already been a cause for scandal among ultra-right groupings, Caucasian Knot reports.

“So far as I understand, this time the prosecution has good, well-prepared evidence. This means that the court will bring in a verdict. I hope that there will be no excesses. Earlier, Nikita Tikhonov was well-known to only a very limited number of people, particularly within one of the oldest neo-Nazi groupings. Now he is already well-known to a wider circle, and this means that young associates may seek to hinder the judge, the jury, whoever they wish. It would be wise to think of taking security measures,” Aleksandr Verkhovsky believes.

Nikita Tikhonov, according to the director of the Sova Centre, was linked with people from Blood & Honour, the Russian branch of the international neo-Nazi organization of that name. "In fact this is not really a branch, but an independent organization. These are people with considerable experience of criminality. Some of them are, evidently, now underground. Some of them until now have been known only by nicknames. This is a serious underground. Evgeniya Khasis is younger and had no connections of that kind, unless through Nikita Tikhonov,” he added.

Stanislav Markelov was killed on 19 January 2009 as he was on his way back from a press conference on the release on parole of former army colonel, Yury Budanov, at the Independent Press Centre on Moscow’s Prechistenka Street. Anastasia Baburova, a student in the faculty of journalism at Moscow State University who wrote for Novaya gazeta, accompanying him, was wounded and later died in hospital.
Rights in Russia,
25 Feb 2011, 14:48