10:42 GMT +325 September 2018
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    Two sentenced in Starovoitova case

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    ST. PETERSBURG, June 30 (RIA Novosti) - The St. Petersburg City Court sentenced Yury Kolchin Thursday to 20 years in prison and his accomplice Vitaly Akishin to 23.5 years in prison for the assassination of local politician Galina Starovoitova.

    A deputy of the State Duma, parliament's lower house, Starovoitova was murdered at the entrance to her apartment block in here on November 20, 1998. The Federal Security Service (FSB) Department of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region investigated the case.

    The court determined that Kolchin, the organizer, and Akishin, one of the perpetrators, were involved in a criminal group organized to assassinate Starovoitova to stop her social and political activity.

    After the verdict was announced, prosecuting attorney Igor Sokhanenko said he did not rule out the prosecutor's office appealing the court's decision.

    Defense lawyer Leonid Saikin said he was "satisfied by the court's determining the crime an assassination and sentencing the organizer and one of the immediate perpetrators of the crime to long terms in prison."

    He said that the court's ruling with regard to four persons could also be reviewed.

    An FSB representative told journalists that the investigation into who ordered Starovoitova's assassination was under way. The cases of two other people involved are expected to be transferred to the court in the near future.

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