Russia jails neo-Nazi for life over Moscow daylight murders (VIDEO)


Russian murder suspect Nikita Tikhonov, with a black bag over his head, sits in the defendant's cage of a Moscow court on Nov. 5, 2009. Two Russian nationalists, a man and a woman, Nikita Tikhonov and Yevgenia Khasis have been arrested and charged in the high-profile killings of human rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov and Anastasia Baburova, a reporter at opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta, who were gunned down in Moscow in January.



A Moscow court sentenced a Russian ultranationalist, Nikita Tikhonov, to life in jail on Friday for the murders of human-rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov and journalist Anastasia Baburova in 2009.

Tikhonov and his accomplice and civil partner, Yevgeniya Khasis, were convicted of the murders Apr. 28, RIA Novosti reported. Khasis was sentenced to 18 years.

Markelov and Baburova, a reporter for the liberal Novaya Gazeta newspaper, were shot dead in broad daylight during a news conference in downtown Moscow in January 2009. Investigators said Baburova was killed because she witnessed Markelov's death.

Russia's FSB intelligence service said Tikhonov and Khasis were linked to Russky Obraz, a "small radical nationalist group" and were taking revenge on the lawyer for his role in defending the victims of racism and those involved in the crisis in the restive Caucasus republic of Chechnya.

Tikhonov reportedly admitted an arms trading charge but denied the killing.

The murders sparked outrage in Russia and abroad.

Tikhonov also must pay Baburova's parents 2,040,000 rubles ($74,500) in damages.

Defense lawyers vowed to appeal.