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Harsher Charges Reinstated for Martial Arts Champ Accused in Death of Teen

World fighting champion Rasul Mirzayev's saga continued Thursday when charges of manslaughter in the death 19-year-old Ivan Agafonov were returned to the more serious crime of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, Echo Moskvy reported.

The new charges could carry a prison term of up to 15 years.

On Monday, a Moscow court ruled that Mirzayev could be freed on bail on the grounds that his original charge was replaced with a lesser one last month, but an appellate panel on Tuesday overturned the decision.

Nationalist groups had seized on the case, protesting the decision to charge Mirzayev, a native of the North Caucasus republic of Dagestan, with a lesser crime.

In August, Ivan Agafonov and Mirzayev got into a fight at the Garage nightclub after Agafonov allegedly started flirting with Mirzayev's girlfriend. Mirzayev punched Agafonov in the head, causing him to fall and hit his head on the pavement. The 19-year-old was hospitalized in critical condition and died four days later.

On Jan. 12, the charge was reduced to manslaughter, a crime that carries a maximum sentence of two years' imprisonment.

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