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Prosecution Demands Life in Prison for Belgorod Shooting Suspect

Sergei Pomazun

A state prosecutor on Monday called for life imprisonment for Sergei Pomazun, the man accused of shooting six people and injuring a police officer in the center of Belgorod earlier this year.

"Unfortunately, the prosecution can't request the death penalty," the prosecutor said during the hearing, Interfax reported. The death penalty is banned in Russia, making life in prison the maximum allowable sentence.

The 32-year-old defendant stands accused of murder, illegal possession of a firearm, violent theft of a firearm and endangering the life of a police officer.

The defense has asked for a 25-year prison sentence, urging the court to consider its client's mental state.

Pomazun underwent extensive psychiatric analysis after his arrest but was found fit to stand trial. His lawyer's request for a second examination was denied in May.

At a hearing last week, Pomazun told the court that he had served as a special operations marksman in Chechnya, where he killed women and children in the line of duty.

Asked why there were no records of his service, the defendant responded: "It was a secret unit, a secret mission."

The trial at a Belgorod court began on June 22 and will recommence on Aug. 22, after which Pomazun faces another court case on charges of offending a judge.

On April 22, the defendant allegedly shot three employees to death in the store Okhota (Hunting) in the city of Belgorod, 40 kilometers north of the Ukrainian border.

He supposedly then opened fire on a major street outside the store, killing a man and a 14-year-old girl. Another girl, 16, was also shot and later died in the hospital.

When Pomazun was later arrested in connection with the shootings, he attacked and wounded a police officer with a knife.

Pomazun was released from prison in 2012 after serving four years for theft and assault on a police officer.

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