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Lawyer Ties Same Gun to 3 Killings

A coffin with the body of Moscow City Court Judge Eduard Chuvashov being carried outside the court Wednesday. Misha Japaridze

The same handgun was used in this week’s killing of a Moscow judge and last year’s slaying of a human rights lawyer and a journalist, a lawyer with close ties to ultranationalist groups said Wednesday. Authorities denied this.

Moscow City Court Judge Eduard Chuvashov was gunned down Monday outside his apartment in central Moscow. His colleagues said the murder was retaliation for long prison sentences he gave several months ago to members of White Wolves, a group of mostly teenage neo-Nazis that killed and assaulted dark-skinned non-Slavs.

Chuvashov also was included in a group of judges for the upcoming trial of two ultranationalists who were arrested and charged with the January 2009 murder of lawyer Stanislav Markelov and journalist Anastasia Baburova.

Their lawyer, Alexei Baranovsky, said a ballistic examination showed the same gun was used in all three murders. He said he had learned that through his contacts in law enforcement agencies.

The Investigative Committee said in a statement that the claim was untrue. It said that the pistol used in the killing of Markelov and Baburova had been found during a search and remained in investigators’ possession.

On Wednesday, Chuvashov was buried at a Moscow cemetery after a funeral attended by dozens of judges and law enforcement officials.

“He suffered for his honesty, principles and determination,” ombudsman Vladimir Lukin said.

Human rights groups say that in recent years Russian skinheads and neo-Nazis formed well-organized terrorist groups that began targeting officials, rights activists and militant anti-racist groups.

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