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Peruvian student's murderer sentenced to 16 years

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VORONEZH, August 25 (RIA Novosti) - A court in Voronezh sentenced Igor Pavlyuk Friday to 16 years in prison for killing a Peruvian student in the southern Russian city last October, saying the murder was ethnically motivated.

It is a rare instance when a court of law acknowledged racist motives in a murder in Russia, where large cities have been plagued by attacks on foreigners in recent years. Police and courts in Russia prefer treating such cases as hooliganism.

An 18-year-old architecture student from Peru died October 9, 2005 after he and his three companions were attacked by a group of Russian youths. The student was stabbed to death and two of his friends - a fellow Peruvian and a Spaniard - were badly injured.

Another 10 defendants in the case were sentenced to one to five years in prison, one was released from jail under an amnesty and one was given a suspended sentence.

Lawyers acting for the defendants said they would appeal the ruling.

The student's parents have received 500,000 rubles ($18,600, or �14,600) in compensation from Russian authorities, although they demanded 3 million euros ($3.8 million).

A recent string of attacks on foreign students has cast a shadow over Voronezh, which is located about 500 kilometers (310 miles) south of Moscow and has traditionally been a popular destination with foreign undergraduates interested in studying in Russia.

Later in October the same year, an Albanian national studying at Voronezh University told police he had been beaten up near his dormitory and had had his mobile phone and ID card stolen. In January, two men from Sudan were allegedly assaulted at one of the city's bus stops, but reportedly sustained no serious injuries.

The attacks led to Russia's Education and Science Ministry pledging to review its list of colleges and universities recommended to foreign students.

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