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LUKoil Crash Plea Rejected

The Moscow City Court on Wednesday upheld a lower court's decision to close a criminal case into a deadly car crash involving LUKoil vice president Anatoly Barkov, which killed two women, Interfax reported.

Vera Sidelnikova, 35, and her mother, Olga Alexandrina, 72, both renowned gynecologists, were killed when their Citroen car collided head-on with a Mercedes owned by Barkov on traffic-clogged Leninsky Prospekt in southern Moscow in February.

Police initially blamed the Citroen for the crash and closed the case, but witnesses said Barkov's Mercedes hit the Citroen after illegally pulling into the oncoming lane to avoid the traffic jam.

Amid a wave of public outrage, President Dmitry Medvedev ordered Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev to investigate the crash in March, but in August city police reiterated that Sidelnikova was guilty in the crash and closed the case.

The court on Wednesday upheld a ruling delivered by the city's Tverskoi District Court in September, which ruled that police legally closed the case.

The ruling came following an appeal by lawyer Igor Trunov on behalf of Sidelnikova's 2-year-old daughter, who became an orphan after Sidelnikova's husband died of a cerebral hemorrhage in August.

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