Russia's Supreme Court quashes acquittal of journalist Dmitri Kholodov's assassins

On Tuesday, the military collegium of the Supreme Court quashed the acquittal of the assassins of journalist Dmitri Kholodov of the Moskovski Komsomolets newspaper and sent the case for re-examination.

The Supreme Court has found that while trying the case not all the evidence had been taken into consideration.

All the six defendants have signed the recognisance not to leave.

Last June 26 the military court of the Moscow district acquitted Pavel Popovskikh, former reconnaissance chief of the air-borne troops; Vladimir Morozov, commander of the special unit of the 45th regiment of the air-borne troops; his two deputies - Alexander Soroka and Konstantin Mirzayants; Alexander Kapuntsov, deputy chief of the Ross body-guard agency; and businessman Konstantin Barkovski.

The court had found that "the pre-trial investigative bodies had not supplied objective proofs" of the defendants' guilt.

The Prosecutor General's Office had turned to the Supreme Court saying that the absolution was "illegal and contrary to the materials and circumstances of the case".

When today's decision of the Supreme Court was being pronounced, the earlier acquitted Pavel Popovskikh felt bad and the court session was suspended for 10 minutes. The session was resumed after the interval.

Dmitri Kholodov, 27, was killed on October 17, 1994 in an explosion in the editorial office. A booby trap was planted into his brief case.

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