Top anti-racism judge shot dead in Moscow
His court dealt with “difficult criminal cases”, a spokeswoman for Moscow’s court, Anna Usacheva, said on the Echo of Moscow radio.
“For the court and colleagues, he was a kind-hearted, compassionate man and the highest of professionals,” she said.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev vowed to bring the killers to justice.
“Everything will be done so that the people that organised and carried out this cynical crime are found and punished,” he said in a message of condolences to the head of the Moscow court, according to a statement.
The 47-year-old judge had presided over at least two cases of hate crimes perpetrated by ultra-nationalist groups last year and afterwards threats against him were posted on several radical websites, said Galina Kozhevnikova of the Sova Centre, a rights group that tracks racist crimes.
“They published his picture and extracts of audio tapes from court, profiling him as a danger to all Russians,” she told AFP.
Just last week Chuvashov jailed three ultra-nationalists for race-motivated murders, Usacheva said.
“Unknown assailants shot the federal judge of the Moscow city court, Eduard Chuvashov, on the third-floor landing in the first entrance of building 24 on Strelbishchensky Street,” the investigative committee said in a statement.
In February, he sentenced members of a skinhead group called the White Wolves to up to 23 years in jail for murders motivated by ethnic hatred.
The nine young gang members were found guilty of the murders of six people, most of whom were migrant workers from Central Asia, knifed and clubbed to death.
Based on surveillance videos from the building where Chuvashov was killed, authorities have profiled the judge’s killer as a young man of Slavic appearance, aged between 25 and 30, a police source was quoted as saying by the RIA Novosti news agency.
The suspect wore jeans, a black shirt and black cap that hid his face, he said, adding early evidence indicates he was a professional hired gunman.
“Chuvashov’s neighbours heard claps, which indicates a silencer was used,” the source said.
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