A court in the Russian city of Saint Petersburg has handed down an 18-year sentence to Alim Azagoyev for the murder of Olympic track champion Dmitri Nelyubin on New Year’s Day, 2005. Azagoyev’s brother, Edik, received a three-year sentence for hooliganism during the same incident.
Winner of the Olympic 4000m team pursuit title in 1988 in conjunction with Viatcheslav Ekimov, Arturas Kasputis and Gintautas Umaras when he was just 17, Nelyubin had gone out onto the streets of Saint Petersburg with friends to set off fireworks to celebrate the new year. According to the Azagoyev brothers, they mistook Nelyubin and his friends for a group of neo-nazis who had attacked one of their friends earlier that evening. During a confrontation between the two groups, Nelyubin was stabbed and died four hours later in hospital due to blood loss.
As well as the 18-year sentence, Azagoyev will have to pay compensation of four million roubles (£80,000/$130,000) to Nelyubin’s family.
Azagoyev’s defence team have announced that they will be appealing the sentence.
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