Source AP ©

Moscow region jury acquits suspected of murdering an Armenian teenager

A Moscow region jury has acquitted a man suspected of murdering an Armenian teenager.

The verdict comes amid escalating xenophobia and hate crimes in Russia.

A jury at the Moscow Region's Court has found the suspect, Anton Polusmyak, innocent despite the testimony of two witnesses who said he assaulted Artur Sardarian, the Interfax and ITAR-Tass news agencies reported.

Officials at the court could not be reached for comment on Friday.

The 19-year-old Armenian was fatally stabbed in the neck and chest in May 2006 by two young men who approached him on a regional commuter train near Moscow. His lawyer said the attackers yelled "Glory to Russia!" and "Long live Russia!"

"The decision is a complete surprise to me and my wife," Sardarian's father, Eduard, told the daily Kommersant. "The jury preferred the opinion of the defense attorneys who claimed Polusmyak spent that night with his friends."

The second suspect's identity has not been established. Sardarian's lawyers said they would appeal the sentence.

Russia has seen a surge in racism and hate crimes in recent years, with a series of attacks on nonwhite or dark-skinned residents, foreigners and Jews.

This year, 31 people were killed and another 203 wounded in apparent hate crimes, said Galina Kozhevnikova of the Sova analytical center.

Rights groups say authorities do little or nothing to combat xenophobia, often prosecuting hate crimes as simple hooliganism.

Comments
Russian Defense Minister speaks about war with Ukraine, US and fight for Crimea
Russian Defense Minister speaks about war with Ukraine, US and fight for Crimea
Russian Defense Minister speaks about war with Ukraine, US and fight for Crimea
Ukraine dreams of what it can do to Crimea after winning war with Russia
Default more likely to hit American, rather than Russian economy
The Sham called Democracy
The Sham called Democracy
Russian woman killed when hanging out naked of moving car in Dominican Republic
Pilot shares his impressions after flying Su-57 fifth-generation fighter
Russian government prepares to get rid of US dollar in economy
Putin in Austria: Europe doesn't like Russia very much, but it is fed up with USA too
US-Russian confrontation: War is peace, freedom is slavery
Details of Putin-Merkel surprise meeting unveiled
Russia's long-range Bastion system follows USS Carney in Black Sea waters
The insane idea in Germany: "pedophilia normal love"
US sanctions to kill Russian banks and sovereign debt?
Will Smith tells of his trip to Russia in a video
Why Russia continues investing in US public debt
USA and Turkey: The elephant kicks the barking pug aside
In Ukraine, human organs don't stink
US-Russian confrontation: War is peace, freedom is slavery