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Jury Trial for Suspects in Markelov Case

Nationalists accused of killing human rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov and liberal Novaya Gazeta reporter Anastasia Baburova in downtown Moscow in 2009 will be tried by a jury in an open court, the Moscow City Court said Tuesday.

The first hearing is scheduled for Jan. 27, said Vladimir Zherebenkov, who represents Baburova's family at the trial, Komsomolskaya Pravda reported.

Investigators say Nikita Tikhonov, 30, killed Markelov for his work representing victims of nationalist attacks in court. Baburova was shot when she tried to stop the gunman.

Tikhonov faces up to 20 years in prison on multiple charges, including murder and illegal arms possession. His girlfriend, Yevgenia Khasis, 25, is charged as an accomplice in Baburova's murder. Both defendants, who were detained in 2009, deny murder charges.

Khasis, a former accountant, and Tikhonov, a historian who worked as a speechwriter for late Finance Minister Boris Fyodorov, are members of the ultranationalist organization Russky Obraz, investigators say. An inquiry is ongoing into whether other people participated in the killings.

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