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Moscow court acquits 2 over attempt on life of Azerbaijani

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MOSCOW, June 19 (RIA Novosti) - The Moscow City Court Monday acquitted two men of an attempted murder of the head of an Azerbaijani community in Russia.

The two defendants, Sergei Koryakovsky and Igor Danilov, had been accused of an attempted contract killing of Soyun Sadykov, the head of the National Cultural Autonomous Federation of Azerbaijanis in Russia.

"Based on the jury's decision, the court found the defendants innocent on this particular charge," a court official said.

But the court sentenced Koryakovsky to 12 years in jail and Danilov to seven years on other counts, including attempted organized murders and illegal weapons sales.

"Despite both defendants' love for alcohol, they were found sane and can only be corrected by jail terms," the verdict said.

During the trial, the jury acquitted Valery Zhak, a stage director at the Rossiya Concert Hall in downtown Moscow, who was accused of organizing the alleged murder attempt. Zhak was released from custody, leaving Danilov and Koryakovsky on the bench.

Prosecutors said Zhak owned an apartment in central Moscow and was engaged in a conflict with Sadykov over property rights and the use of commercial estate in the residential building.

"Trying to resolve the conflict illegally, he [Zhak] offered his acquaintance Danilov money for killing Sadykov," prosecutors said.

The investigation showed that Danilov had agreed and invited Koryakovsky to help him.

On March 18, 2005, Koryakovsky and Danilov parked a Nissan car near the entrance to Sadykov's office. When Sadykov arrived, Koryakovsky started shooting at the car and wounded the driver. Sadykov was not hurt.

Prosecutors said they would appeal the verdict.

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