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Russia Seeks 10-Year Jail Term for Wife of Exiled Journalist in Attempted Murder Case

Antonina Martynova hugs her daughter Alisa during a court recess. Mediazona

Russian prosecutors have requested a 10-year prison sentence for the wife of exiled journalist Kirill Martynov in a controversial case surrounding the alleged attempted murder of her daughter nearly two decades ago, the online news outlet Mediazona reported Thursday.

Antonina Martynova, whose maiden name is Fyodorova, had evaded criminal punishment for 16 years after a Russian jury in 2008 found her guilty of attempting to throw her toddler-aged daughter down a stairwell. She was found and detained by police on April 3.

Martynova has maintained that her daughter Alisa climbed through a stair railing and fell before she was able to catch her.

According to Mediazona, prosecutors on Thursday asked the Novgorod District Court to sentence Martynova to 10 years in medium-security prison on charges of attempted murder.

Martynova reportedly told the court that she and her daughter lived in hiding in the southern Russian city of Stavropol while she was wanted by the authorities.

Alisa said that she has lived without identity papers and learned about her real name only after her mother’s detention, Mediazona reported, adding that she had been homeschooled.

A judge ordered that Martynova undergo a mental health evaluation but denied the defense team’s request for a new trial with additional examinations.

Her husband Kirill Martynov, who is the editor-in-chief of the exiled independent news website Novaya Gazeta Europe, has not commented on the case. According to Meduza, Martynova and Martynova are still legally married.

Last summer, Russian state media reported, without providing evidence, that police renewed an investigation into Martynov on suspicion of coaxing his wife to “get rid of” Alisa, who is her daughter from a previous marriage.

The only witness in that case, who was 11 years old at the time, died from a drug overdose, according to the state-funded broadcaster NTV.

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